Weed Identification

Australia > > Cotoneaster


Cotoneaster glaucophyllus

Family: Malaceae (often included in Rosaceae).

Form: Shrub

Origin: Native of China.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: In white clusters. Each flower about 8 mm wide, 5-petalled. Flower stalk densely hairy. Flowers spring and summer.

Description: Evergreen shrub to 4 m high. Leaves elliptic to ovate 1.54 cm wide; leaf stalk 0.71.2 cm long. False fleshy fruit (pome) 610 mm long, almost globe-shaped. Seeds yellowish, flattened.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by leaves 38 cm long with upper surface hairless and lower surface covered with dense intertwined hairs (woolly) when young but becoming hairless with age. Pome ripening red with 2 seeds.

Dispersal: Spread by birds. Also by fruit washed along watercourses.

Confused With: Cotoneaster lacteus, but Cotoneaster lacteus has leaves with distinctly indented veins on the upper leaf surface and a lower surface that remains hairy with age.

White flowers & young leaves with
white woolly lower surface
photo J.R. Hosking

Notes: Common ornamental. Widely naturalised on the fringes of urban bushland and roadsides near plantings. At least nine species of Cotoneaster have naturalised in Australia.


    Flora of NSW G. Harden (ed), Vol. 1, 1990, page 544. Flora of Victoria. N. Walsh and T Entwisle (eds), Vol. 3, 1996, page 578.

Web References: Search Australian web sites for further information on this weed.

Ripe fruit & leaves
photo J.R. Hosking

photo J.R. Hosking

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card S01.
More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

It has also been included in the 'Jumping the Garden Fence' report (WWF-Australia PDF - 1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems.


Australia > > Cotoneaster


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