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COTONEASTER


267


Cotinus SMOKE TREE


Anacardiaceae DECIDUOUS SHRUBS OR TREES


ZZONES 2–24 FFULL SUN DMODERATE WATER


C. ‘Grace’. Hybrid between


C. coggygria and C. obovatus. To 15 ft. tall and wide, with blue- green foliage shaded purple, large deep pink puffs. Orange and purple-red fall foliage. C. obovatus. From eastern U.S. Grows to 20–30 ft. tall and wide. Bluish to dark green leaves turn yellow, orange, and reddish purple in fall.


CARE


Plants are at their best under stress in poor or rocky soil. In cultivated gardens, give them fast drainage and avoid overly wet conditions. Resistant to oak root fungus.


Cotoneaster


Rosaceae EVERGREEN, SEMIEVERGREEN, AND DECIDUOUS SHRUBS


Cotinus coggygria


Unusual and colorful shrub-trees create a broad, urn-shaped mass usually as wide as high. They are naturally multi- stemmed but can be trained to a single trunk. Common name derived from dramatic puffs of “smoke” from fading fl owers: as the tiny greenish blooms wither, they send out elongated stalks clothed in a profusion of fuzzy lavender-pink hairs. For another plant with the common name smoke tree, see Psoro- thamnus spinosus. C. coggygria. Native from


southern Europe to central China. Typically 12–15 ft. high and wide, though it may eventu- ally reach 25 ft. The roundish, 11⁄2–3-in. leaves are bluish green in the species, but purple- leafed types are more commonly grown. Leaves of ‘Purpureus’ emerge purple, then gradually turn green; ‘Royal Purple’ and ‘Velvet Cloak’ hold their purple color through most of the sum- mer. Those with purple foliage have richer purple “smoke puffs” than the species. ‘Golden Spirit’ reaches about 7 ft. high and 6 ft. wide, with leaves that are lime green in spring and turn golden yellow in summer. ‘Pink Champagne’ is a green- leafed selection with pinkish tan puffs. Leaves of all types change in fall, taking on colors from yellow to orange-red.


ZZONES VARY BY SPECIES FFULL SUN, EXCEPT AS NOTED NDLITTLE TO MODERATE WATER


b ATTRACT BIRDS X SOME TYPES INVASIVE


be good-looking in the proper setting. Some are especially attractive in form and branching pattern (C. congestus, C. hori- zontalis), while some others (C. microphyllus) are notable for colorful fruit that is long lasting if birds don’t get it. Trailing vari- eties make excellent ground- covers. Low horizontal kinds die out in desert heat. C. acutifolius. PEKING COTONEASTER. Deciduous. Zones A1–A3; 1–3. To 10 ft. tall and as wide, with glossy green foliage turning red in fall. Fruit is black. Useful as hedge or screen. C. apiculatus. CRANBERRY COTONEASTER. Deciduous. Zones A3; 2–24. Best in cold- winter climates. Dense grower to 3 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide, with small, round leaves turning deep red in autumn. Clustered fruits about the size of large cranberries. Can take some shade. Use as bank cover, hedge, background planting. ‘Tom Thumb’ is a miniature mound 4–6 in. high, 10 in. wide. It may be the same as ‘Little Gem’. C. congestus. PYRENEES COTONEASTER. Evergreen. Zones 3b–24. Slow grower reaches to 3 ft. tall and as wide, with dense, downward- curving branches and tiny dark green leaves. Plant produces small, bright red fruit. Use in containers, rock gardens. C. dammeri (C. humifu-


Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Coral Beauty’


Varied natives to China, Himala- yas, and northern India. Plants range from low types used as groundcovers to small, stiffl y upright shrubs to tall (25 ft.) shrubs of fountainlike growth with graceful, arching branches. White or pink springtime fl owers resembling tiny single roses are pretty because of their abun- dance, though not especially showy. Berries (typically red or orange-red) follow the blossoms in fall and winter. Some species can be invasive, spreading by seeds into wild areas. Cotoneasters are useful, if not striking, shrubs and can


sus). BEARBERRY COTON - E ASTER. Evergreen. Zones 2– 24. Fast, prostrate growth to 8 in. high, 10 ft. wide. Branches root along ground. Leaves are bright glossy green, fruit bright red. ‘Coral Beauty’ (C.× sue- cicus ‘Coral Beauty’) is 6 in. high; ‘Eichholz’ grows 10–12 in. high, shows a scattering of red- orange leaves in fall; ‘Lowfast’ is 1 ft. high; ‘Mooncreeper’ grows 8–10 in. high and has large fl owers; ‘Skogsholmen’ grows 11⁄2 ft. high. ‘Streib’s Findling’ (which may be a hybrid with C. procumbens or a selec- tion of that species) grows 4–6 in. high, has dark bluish green foliage. All are good groundcovers in sun or partial shade and can drape over walls, cascade down slopes. C. divaricatus. SPREADING COTONEASTER. Deciduous.


Zones 1–24. Stiff growth to 6 ft. tall and wide. Dark green leaves closely set on branches turn orange-red in fall. Egg-


shaped, bright red fruits are 1⁄2 in. long. Informal hedge, screen, bank planting. C. glaucophyllus. Ever- green. Zones 11–14, 18–20. To 6–8 ft. tall and broad, with gracefully arching branches clothed in gray-green foliage. Dense clusters of white fl owers are followed by dark red berries. Attractive in shrub beds or as informal hedge. C. horizontalis. ROCK COTONEASTER. Deciduous. Zones A3; 2b–11, 14–24. Can be 2–3 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide, with stiff horizontal branches and many branchlets set in herring- bone pattern. Small, roundish, bright green leaves turn orange and red before falling. Leafl ess period may be brief. Showy red fruit. Effective when given enough room to spread; disfi g- ured by cutting branches short to accommodate traffi c. Fine bank cover or low traffi c barrier. ‘Hessei’ grows 18 in. high and resists spider mites and fi re- blight. ‘Variegatus’ has leaves edged in white. C. h. perpusillus (C. perpusillus) is smaller, more compact. C. microphyllus. ROCK-


SPRAY COTONEASTER. Ever- green. Zones A3; 2–9, 14–24. Its horizontal branches trail and root, forming a mass 6 ft. across; secondary branches grow erect to 2–3 ft. Leaves are very small (1⁄3 in.), green, and gray beneath. Fruit is rosy red. Effective in rock gardens or on banks. ‘Coo- peri’, a miniature mound-forming selection to 1 ft. across, is a good rock garden plant. C. salicifolius. WILLOW- LEAF COTONEASTER. Evergreen or semievergreen. Zones 3b– 24. Shrub to 15–18 ft. tall and wide, with narrow, dark green leaves 1–31⁄2 in. long and bright red fruits. Graceful screening or background plant but can be invasive. Some shade in low desert. Better known are the trailing forms used as ground- cover. ‘Emerald Carpet’ is 12– 15 in. tall, to 8 ft. wide, with compact habit and small leaves. ‘Herbstfeuer’ (‘Autumn Fire’) grows 2–3 ft. high and up to 8 ft. wide. ‘Repens’ is similar in appearance; it is sometimes


C


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