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December's Plant of the Month -
by Adrienne Roethling,
Director of Curation and Mission Delivery
Cotoneaster is a group of plants belonging to the rose family with most species native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. Cotoneaster gets a bad rap for being invasive in some parts of the North America, but not all species should be held to the same standards. Some species are important to wildlife playing hosts to certain species of moths. Flowers attract many pollinators and the fruit feeds hungry birds in winter.
Grey cotoneaster is an evergreen shrub reaching 10’ tall and wide with arching stems. Small leaves of grey-green turn red in winter. Flowers are clusters of small white, fragrant flowers in July and will attract honeybees and wasps. Flowers are followed by orange fruit. Best to grow grey cotoneaster in full sun with well drained soils. It also makes a great container plant with some minor maintenance such as pruning a wildly grown branch or two.
Join or renew your garden membership during the month of December and your name will be included in a drawing for a complimentary Cotoneaster franchetii.