Plants of the Castlemaine District

Silver-leaf Cotoneaster and Large-leaf Cotoneaster - introduced
(*Cotoneaster pannosus and *Cotoneaster glaucophyllus)

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Family: Rosaceae (Rose family).

Natives of Asia.

Occurrence: Garden escapes. Cotoneasters are common weeds of bushland near urban areas.


Cotoneasters are widely planted garden shrubs. Berries are eaten by birds and foxes, and the seeds spread into other gardens and bushland. Cotoneasters are undesirable weeds because the fruits provide food for some aggressive birds (e.g. Pied Currawongs) that have an adverse impact on smaller native birds. The increase in the numbers of predatory birds because of the year-round supply of food from berry bushes is one of the reasons for the decline in the number of small bushland birds. These larger birds eat eggs and nestlings. Cotoneasters are declared pest plants in the Australian Capital Territory.

Silver-leaf Cotoneaster is the more common weed. It has small oval leaves (1-3cm long) which are dark green above and white below.

The leaves of Large-leaf Cotoneaster are larger (3-7cm long), and dark green above with a paler undersurface.

Other Cotoneasters are sometimes grown, and could become weedy.

Photos 1,2: Silver-leaf Cotoneaster. 3: Large-leaf Cotoneaster. Castlemaine.
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