Am I the only person who used to pronounce this word wrongly: coton-easter instead of cot-own-e-aster?
Now that I’ve got the pronunciation right, I want to have a moan about the plant itself. Don’t get me wrong – with those charming, heart-shaped leaves and luscious red berries, it’s very attractive … when it’s in a garden. The problem is that birds find its berries luscious and attractive too, and they eat them, and they fly away, and they poop. And a few months later, up pops another Cotoneaster plant but not always where it’s wanted. (There are Cotoneaster plants by the score at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, where I regularly go walking.)
So, now, because it has a habit of spreading easily, damaging native vegetation, and is difficult to get rid of, the Cotoneaster has been classified as a ‘non-native invasive’ on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in England and Wales making it an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow these species in the wild. And it’s going to take a lot of back-breaking effort by someone to get rid of all the plants growing where they’re not wanted.