Shrub to 3.5 m tall, to 4.5 m wide Leaves: alternate, stalked, bluish green above, 2 - 5 cm long, egg-shaped with a rounded or pointed tip and rounded to broad wedge-shaped base, hairy beneath when young Flowers. : borne three to twelve or more in a nearly flat-topped cluster (corymb), white, 1 - 1.2 cm across, with a hairless calyx The scent is somewhat unpleasant Fruit: berry-like, red, 8 mm across, nearly.. spherical to inversely egg-shaped, containing one or two tiny nuts Twigs:. changing from purplish to reddish green to gray with age, hairy when young Branches are slender and arching Buds:.. brownish gray, very small, with outer scales slightly separating to expose a hairy inside.
Similar species: Cotoneaster acutifolius differs by having upright to spreading branches, dull green leaves with some hairs on the lower surface at maturity, fewer-flowered (two to five) inflorescences, pinkish flowers with a hairy calyx, and black fruit.
Flowering: early May to early June
Habitat and ecology: This species was introduced from China and rarely escapes cultivation It can be found in old fields or along roadsides.
Etymology: Cotoneaster comes from the Latin words cotoneum, meaning quince, and instar, meaning likeness, referring to the resemblance of some cotoneaster leaves to those of quince Multiflora means many-flowered.
Author: The Morton Arboretum