Cotoneaster franchetii


Cotoneaster: From cotoneus an old Latin name for the quince, and possibly aster, corruption of adinstar 'resembling', i.e. quince-like

Common Name(s)

Cotoneaster, Franchet's Cotoneaster



Brief Description

Widely branched shrub with arching branchlets, foliage conspicuously grey from a distance (young leaves densely hairy on both surfaces and remaining white-felted below when mature). Flowers with pink erect petals. Fruit orange with 3-5 pyrenes.

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Terrestrial. Outcompetes native shrub species in a wide variety of habitats. Usually dry forest and shrubland up to 300 m, forest margins, dry rangeland, bluffs, rocky sites, slips, riverbeds.


Evergreen shrub up to c. 3 m high; stems spreading and often somewhat arching; young shoots pale buff-tomentose, later becoming dark reddish brown. Leaves up to 35 x 18 mm, more or less shining and finely pilose with impressed veins above, usually with white to grey woolly tomentum (rarely pale buff) below. Flowers in clusters of 7-15 scattered along branches, Petals erect and pink. Fruit ellipsoid, oblong-obovoid, obovoid, or subglobose, 5-9 mm long, scarlet or orange scarlet.

Similar Taxa

Has been confused with C. pannosus, but that species has flowers with spreading petals and almost always has 2 pyrenes ('seeds') per fruit, whereas C. franchetii has flowers with erect petals and mostly has 3 (up to 5) pyrenes per fruit.


November, December, January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink

Year Naturalised




Reason for Introduction


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Perennial. Very long lived. Large numbers of viable seed are produced in each fruit. Fruit are readily dispersed by birds.


Very tolerant of damp and drought, hot and cold, salt, and a range of soils.

This page last updated on 16 May 2016