Cotoneaster spp.


Photo credit: ©GBNNSS (Wall cotoneaster)

Cotoneaster - Cotoneaster spp.

  • A large group of small trees that are evergreen or deciduous, with bright red berries. In most species, the leaves tend to have a hairy underside. Wall cotoneaster is a common species, and is identified by its herring-bone-like branches and single flowers. The underside of its leaves are hairless.

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Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • The majority of the species originate from East Asia. Many species have become invasive in the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Czechia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Canada, the United States of America, Argentina, Poland and Switzerland.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • It spreads rapidly across local areas as their seeds are eaten by birds. It poses a threat to local biodiversity as it readily invades high priority habitats, like limestone grasslands, and can out-compete native species. It may also be seen in lower quality habitats, and may become the dominant species by smothering native species.

How did it get here?
  • It was introduced as an ornamental plant for gardens and landscaping, but was quickly spread by birds eating the seeds.

Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland?
  • Found in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Methods for Prevention:
  • Listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 as amended. Under article 15 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild any invasive plant listed in Part II of schedule 9 to that Order.
  • Distribution maps can be seen here on NBN Atlas Northern Ireland.
  • Record any sightings here.

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland