Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Cotoneaster microphyllus var. thymifolius Littleleaf Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster microphyllus var. thymifolius

Littleleaf Cotoneaster

Plant Type:


Cotoneaster microphyllus var. thymifolius - Small profuse dark green thyme-like leaves (as indicated in the variety name, thymifolius) cover stiff branches. And though the stems are rigid the tiny dark evergreen leaves provide a softening. White flowers produce .25” red fruits. When the temperatures descend my plants tend to pick up a bronze-chocolate shade upon which small red berries glow. Michael Dirr states that this neat little shrub may grow as high as 3’ but here at the near northern end of its range in my garden it has remained under 2’ with a slightly wider spread. Nearly evergreen at the northern end of the range it will hold its leaves through the winter months farther south. Cutting grown.


2-3 ft


3-4 ft



Characteristics and Attributes for Cotoneaster microphyllus var. thymifolius

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / Autumn

Nature Attraction

  • Songbirds


  • Full Sun
  • Mostly Sunny


  • Hedge
  • Border
  • Foundation
  • Hedgerow
  • Rock Garden
  • Labyrinth
  • Shrub Border

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Draining
  • Fertile


  • Himalayas

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown

Genus Overview: Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster (pronounced Cuh-toe-nee-AZ-tuhr) as a genus has been ignored in recent years. I have found it odd that plants go in and out of fashion. From my humble standpoint a good plant is a good plant in any generation. Some Cotoneasters are virtually evergreen, others deciduous. Most have terrific fall foliage color. All have pretty flowers usually followed by a beautiful fruit set – many hold fruit well into winter. They are good wildlife plants for many species of birds relish the fruits. They prefer fertile soil but demonstrate moderate drought tolerance once settled in. However, if you cheat these members of the Rosaceae too much they will languish. All of our offerings are cutting grown.