Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster species

Synonyms - Cotoneaster glaucophyllus, Cotoneaster pannosus

Family: Rosaceae

Names:

Other Names:

Summary:

An evergreen shrub with arching branches and red berries in autumn and winter and tiny Rose like flowers in spring. The leaves are dull green on top and white and felt like underneath.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade - 15-30 mm long for C. pannosus, up to 80 mm long for C. glaucophyllus. Dull green on top, felt like and white underneath. Oval shaped. Simple.

Stems:

Many stemmed, to 3000 mm long, often arching.
Coppice when cut.

Flower head:

Clusters of flowers on short lateral shoots.

Flowers:

White flowers.
Ovary -
Sepals -
Petals - White.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Red berry.

Seeds:

Roots:

Large aggressive root system.

Key Characters:

Evergreen shrub with red berries in autumn to winter.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial, evergreen shrub. Flowers in spring/summer, Sets berries in autumn/winter and the first flowers are produced in the second or third season.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Apomictic (they can set seed without pollination) and can also set seed after pollination and hybridise with other species.

Flowering times:

Spring to early summer in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Many hybrids exist and are sold commercially as ornamentals.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by birds.

Origin and History:

China.
A garden escape.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
C. glaucophyllus on roadsides from Busselton to Albany.
C. pannosus Darling Range near Perth and roadsides from Perth to Albany.

Red = Cotoneaster glaucophyllus. Blue = Cotoneaster pannosus
Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Prefers higher rainfall areas.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental.

Detrimental:

Weed.
They can establish in relatively undisturbed bushland.
Invasive weed of the USA.

Toxicity:

Cotoneaster contains cyanogenic glycosides.
The berries are toxic if eaten in large quantities especially by children. Other parts of the plant appear to be less toxic.
No losses of stock have been recorded but children have become violently ill after eating berries.

Symptoms:

Gastroenteritis in children after eating berries.

Treatment:

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Grazing normally provides good control.
Large bushes can be physically removed. Seedlings are difficult to hand pull and a weed wrench may be needed.
Replanting tall growing and scrub species to reduce light levels at the ground will help reduce reinvasion. Seed bearing bushes for several kilometres need to be controlled to reduce the spread of seed by birds.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Young plants can be uprooted with a weed wrench.
Larger plants can be cut and the stump painted immediately with neat glyphosate. The carpet of seedlings that emerge after removal of the mother plant can be manually removed, smothered with mulch or black plastic or sprayed with 1% glyphosate.
Hand spraying with 1L Grazon per 100 L water is likely to be the most effective eradication method but has not been tested in WA.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Rockspray Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster microphyllus) is invasive in the USA.
Silver-leaved Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster pannosus) is invasive in the USA.
Cotoneaster divaricatus
Cotoneaster franchetii
Cotoneaster glaucophyllus
Cotoneaster horizontalis
Cotoneaster lacteus is invasive in the USA.
Cotoneaster rotundifolius
Cotoneaster simonsii

Plants of similar appearance:

Hawthorn

References:

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P208. Photo.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #287.3, #287.7.

Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P80. Photo.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.