VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Plant Pick: Puckered Leaf Cotoneaster

Latin name:  Cotoneaster rhederi

by Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association

Vigorous deciduous shrub with an arching, vase like form, with deeply veined, sharply tipped elliptical leaves. Blooming in early summer with pink tipped white flowers, bright red berries soon follow and last well into the winter season.  Seed is viable for propagation or harvest nodal cuttings in spring. The rich brown bark will often have lighter coloured lenticels giving it a speckled appearance. A favourite of our robins in late winter, rumor has it the fermenting berries can cause them to ‘tip over’ if they overindulge.

Photos courtesy of:  Milner Gardens & Woodland




Arching/vase like in its maturity, can be pruned for multi branched shrub effect


Sharp tipped oval leaves slightly puckered through the centre and often a rippled darkened blotch in the midrib


4.5 metres tall by 3 metres wide at full maturity, but completely tolerant of pruning

Hardiness Zone:

Zone 6


Full sun to part shade

Flower colour:


Leaf colour:

Dark green, good red in fall/winter

Flower time:

Early summer

Preferred soil

and Watering:

Very tolerant of many soil conditions once established, moderate water needs, even in drought


Robins attracted to berries and bees come to the early summer flowers