A deciduous shrub of bushy habit 5 to 10 ft high, branches often pendulous; young twigs downy. Leaves pointed, ovate-lanceolate to oval, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, half as wide; dull green, and with scattered hairs above, paler and hairy beneath especially when young; veins in five or six pairs; stalk 1⁄12 to 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers white, three or more together in corymbs; stalks and calyx woolly, lobes of calyx triangular. Fruit reddish at first, finally black, 1⁄3 in. diameter, glabrous; nutlets usually two.
Native of Mongolia, N. and W. China and the E. Himalaya. This is not one of the handsomest of cotoneasters, and is, perhaps, a poor form of C. lucidus (q.v.). There has been much confusion between the two, owing to C. lucidus also having been called C. acutifolius; but from that species the present one is distinguished by its dull green, not shining, more hairy leaves, and its woolly calyx and flower-stalks.
var. villosulus Rehd. & Wils. C. villosulus (Rehd. & Wils.) Flinck & Hylmö – Young shoots clothed with yellowish-grey loose hairs, becoming glabrous and purplish brown the second year. Leaves 11⁄2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 to 21⁄4 in. wide, larger and more drawn-out at the apex than in the type. Petals rose-tinted white. Fruit roundish pear-shaped, 2⁄5 in. long, woolly, ultimately shining black. Native of the region from W. China to the E. Himalaya; introduced by Wilson from W. Hupeh in 1900. A very vigorous shrub.
C. tenuipes Rehd. & Wils. – This cotoneaster, which was introduced by Wilson from W. Szechwan, China, bears a close resemblance to the preceding variety, but differs in its smaller leaves (3⁄5 to 11⁄5 in. long, more densely hairy beneath).