Also known as
Where is it originally from?
China and Himalayas
What does it look like?
Deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub (<4 m) with stems that are erect or slightly arching, covered with dense brown downy hairs when young, are hairless brownish-grey with mature, and often covered in sooty mould. Shiny pale-green leaves (13-25 x 7-15 mm) crowded or bunched along stems have thin hairs on top when young but are hairless when mature. Clusters of 1-4 small whitish to pale pink flowers (Nov-Dec) are followed by shiny orange-red or scarlet berries (5-10 mm long).
Are there any similar species?
Cotoneaster glaucophyllus, C. franchetii, and C. divaricatus are similar.
Why is it weedy?
Produces highly viable seeds, matures quickly, long-lived, forms dense stands and outcompetes native shrub species in a wide range of habitats. Very tolerant of damp and drought, cold, range of soils, and semi-shade tolerant.
How does it spread?
Birds distribute seeds widely from hedges, roadsides, gardens, and wasteland.
What damage does it do?
Forms understorey in open forest and invades margins. Overtops and replaces shrub species, and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Dry cool forest and shrubland up to 900 m, forest margins, dry rangeland, bluffs, rocky sites, slips, and riverbeds, potentially most cold dry open sites in New Zealand.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Plan to control whole areas to minimise reseeding by birds.
1. Dig out small plants (all year round). Leave on site to rot down.
2. Cut down and paint stump (all year round, best in summer-autumn): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/L) or picloram gel. Treat ends of cut branches if they are left on site.
3. Frilling (big stems only in summer-autumn): 'feather' bark, metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/L).
4. Spray (summer-autumn): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/L + penetrant).
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Stumps resprout, often even after swabbing. Replant bared areas with dense groundcover or shrubs to prevent seedling regrowth.