Cotoneaster Franchetti (Grey Cotoneaster)

An upright, semi-evergreen or arched tree to 3metres in height. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Hardiness level Green

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An upright, semi-evergreen shrub up to 3metres in height which could also be considered a small tree if you wanted to. It has alternately placed oval leaves, sage green above with white downy undersides. Their white flowers are prettily tinted with pink and these are followed by reddish-orange berries, a bit more orangey-orange than other cotoneasters.

What’s particularly nice about ‘Franchetti’ is the contrasting silvery grey colour and slight puff-of-smoke lightness which their leaves bring into your garden. Unless we get a nastily sharp winter, these leaves will stay welded to the stems year-round.

Left to its own devices to form a properly bushy bush this plant forms a good, solid, self-supporting hunk of a hump. It can also be clipped and teased into softer and more controlled shapes so if you like a rolling, billowy sort of a backdrop with smoother lines then this works, too. Having mentioned backdrops we’d recommend this Cotoneaster, as we would others, for screening and sound-baffling as their heaps and heaps of densely-packed little leaves and stems make this a very noise-cancelling shrub. Plant several to slosh up against fences or boundaries in a rolling wave of silvery green, or you could have a more formal row and make a decent shaggy hedge of them.

Once you’ve muffled the unwanted aural intruders into your space in this way, you can enjoy the birdsong, for like all Cotoneasters ‘Franchetti’ will bring clouds of birds into your garden eager to stuff their gullets with their abundant autumn berries.

Plant it in full sun to partial shade in any aspect, really. It does like a moist and well-drained soil but you’ll be surprised at what it can handle. Coastal and exposed sites don’t seem to bother it much, either.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well-watered when first planted.



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