Plant Database

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster salicifolius 'Repens'


Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster salicifolius 'Repens') at GardenWorks

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster foliage

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 inches

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Cranberry Cotoneaster


A choice plant for massing and groundcover, featuring spreading branches that tend to root where they touch the soil and form a dense mound; white flowers in early summer followed by brilliant red fruit in fall; semi-evergreen in colder conditions

Ornamental Features

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster is primarily valued in the garden for its broadly spreading habit of growth. It features tiny clusters of white flowers along the branches in early summer. It has dark green evergreen foliage. The small glossy narrow leaves turn an outstanding plum purple in the fall, which persists throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Spreading Willowleaf Cotoneaster will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Garden  Groundcover 
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This resource is provided for informational purposes only and does NOT reflect current availability. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact your favourite GardenWorks location directly for current availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit GardenWorks to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.