Cotoneaster (Zwergmispel)

The berries, with the morning frost on them, look good enough to eat…

… but they are slightly poisonous, so I’ll leave them for the birds!

The berries also make up for the tiny insignificant flowers in late spring as the berries form quite quickly (first yellow and then darkening to red) and the shrub is therefore bright and cheerful almost all year. AND this shrub is evergreen, withstands exreme heat, scorching sun, drought as well as temperatures as low as -20°C in winter… I love it! (Wish there were more plants like this!)

However, there is the down side. Some species can spread and become invasive. I do give this one a severe prune at least once a year.

This photo was taken in October 2011…

This is such a common shrub that some garden snobs may turn their noses up at it! Personally I think its neat leaves, beautiful berries and curvaceous growth, and even the flowers – which attract thousands of bees and insects – make it a perfect rockery/hedgerow shrub.