Cotoneaster franchetii
Flickr user Lutz Blohm

orange cotoneaster


  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of High Potential Risk
  • This plant has been rated Moderate by the California Invasive Plant Council


Orange cotoneaster was introduced from China in 1854 as an ornamental plant. Evergreen shrub that grows to 10 ft. tall with many branches that zig-zag, forming a complex pattern.

It is a shrub in the rose family that has pink flowers and orange fruits, of which it produces thousands every year. It is frequently confused with Cotoneaster pannosus, which is also included on the list of Plants to Watch. The two species cannot be distinguished from each other unless they are in flower.

The fruits are dispersed by birds, small mammals, flowing water, and human activities. It has naturalized in coastal areas of the San Francisco Bay area and other coastal areas of California. Where it has escaped cultivation, it can be found in forests, shrublands, and grasslands, and in areas ranging from moist woodland to open areas with thin, rocky soil. It appears to require coastal conditions, as it has not spread to wildlands in inland California. CalWeedMapper shows where it has naturalized in California.

It reproduces by seed and resprouts when damaged grazing, cutting, or fire.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

It was considered in 2016, but was not added to the nursery survey because the impacts and risk of this plant is lower compared to other species. It is also not likely that this plant is still being sold for ornamental purposes.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources:

Additional photos of orange cotoneaster (Cotoneaster franchetii)