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 Weather Station

Products > Cotoneaster 'Ladder Leaf'
Cotoneaster 'Ladder Leaf'

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Origin: Garden Origin
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pinkish White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [C. 'Bleck's Madness']
Parentage: (Cotoneaster hjelmqvistii hybrid)
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Cotoneaster 'Ladder Leaf'' (Bearberry Cotoneaster) - This evergreen groundcover grows 1 to 2 feet tall and spreads outward to 4 to 6 feet wide with rounded dark green leaves held tightly and overlapping on distichous branches. Small pinkish white flowers in the spring are followed by small orange-red berries. Plant in full sun to part shade and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Has remained evergreen for us but likely will be very hardy and deciduous down to at least 5 degrees F (USDA Zone 6). This plant was a seedling found in the garden of Aloe hybridizer John Bleck who as manager of the UC Santa Barbara greenhouses in the late 1970s had received seed labeled Cotoneaster "nomen nudum" (an undescribed new plant) from the University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden, which he later determined was Cotoneaster hjelmqvistii, a plant first introduced into Europe from China prior to being scientifically described. It came first into Europe at the Botanic Garden in Lund, Sweden in 1943 from a garden in Hungary and released in the trade by the Belgian nursery, Van Nes, in 1954. It was finally described under its current name in 1991 but has long been in cultivation in Europe where it was often confused with Cotoneaster horizontalis, the Rockspray Cotoneaster, and went by names such as Cotoneaster horizontalis 'Coralle', 'Robusta' and 'Dart's Splendid'. John Bleck planted one of the Cotoneaster hjelmqvistii seedlings in his Goleta, California garden and in 2011 noted an interesting seedling emerge from beneath it with tight overlapping growth. This might be an interesting seedling of C. hjelmqvistii or perhaps it is a hybrid with C. dammeri 'Lowfast' which was planted nearby. Since it has such congested overlapping leaves in neat alternate ranks John Bleck suggested we use the term "ladder leaf' in its name. The name for the genus is derived from the Latin words 'cotone', an old name for the quince plant, and the suffix 'aster' means "resembling".  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Cotoneaster 'Ladder Leaf'.