Alternative common names:
Large-leaved cotoneaster, bloudwergmispel (Afrikaans).
An upright or arching shrub (usually growing 3-5m tall) with many branching stems. Younger branches are reddish-brown with fine hairs; older branches become hairless and turn grey or dark brown. It is a significant environmental weed that forms thickets under tall trees, and dense infestations will shade the indigenous ground flora and impede the regeneration of overstorey plants.
Where does this species come from?China and the Himalayas.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA 2020 Category 1b.
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Gauteng and Limpopo.
How does it spread?It is pread by birds as well as by fruit washed along watercourses.
Why is it a problem?
The fruit of large-leaved cotoneaster is poisonous to humans and this species can also act as a host for bacterial fire blight, a disease common in orchards.
What does it look like?
Evergreen shrub reaching 4m high.
Leaves: The leaves are elliptic to ovate, 1.5-4cm wide, and the leaf stalk is 0.7-1.2cm long. The upper surfaces are smooth and dark green, and their lower surfaces are initially greyish-green and covered in whitish hairs. These hairs often wear off as the leaves mature, leaving pale green or slightly bluish-green undersides.
Flowers: Occur in white clusters in spring and summer. Each flower is about 8mm wide. The flower stalk is densely hairy.
Fruit/seeds: False fleshy fruit, 6-10mm long, almost globe shaped. The seeds are yellowish.
Does the plant have any uses?