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An evergreen shrub 1 or 2 ft high, its young shoots densely clothed with pale brownish down. Leaves oval or sometimes obovate, pointed, tapered at the base; 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, half as much wide; dull green and at first hairy above, densely clothed with tawny down beneath. Flowers two to seven together, white with pink anthers, calyx clothed with whitish hairs. Fruit red, obovoid, 1⁄4 in. long.
Native of the Nilgiri Hills, India, where it has been described as a ‘very scrubby little bush’. It differs from C. prostratus in its smaller, narrower, more closely downy leaves, more closely downy young shoots and in its smaller, hairy, more pear-shaped fruits.
The true species was introduced to Kew in 1919. The “C. buxifolius” of gardens is usually C. prostratus var. lanatus.
Cotoneasters closely related to C. buxifolius were found in China, in the mountains of Yunnan and Szechwan, by Delavay, Wilson, Forrest and Rock, but they are scarcely known in gardens here and their taxonomic status is uncertain. Wilson introduced a prostrate, rather glabrous plant which Rehder considered to belong to C. buxifolius f. vellaeus Franch. But Klotz refers it to C. rockii, a new species described by him in 1963 and founded on material collected by Rock.