New Plantsman 5: 138, fig. p. 140 [lower left]. 1998.
Shrubs, 3–5 m. Stems erect, spreading, arching; branches spiraled and distichous, maroon, initially tomentose-pilose. Leaves deciduous; petiole 5–8 mm, pilose-villous; blade suborbiculate, broadly elliptic, ovate, or rhombic, 34–40 × 20–32 mm, subcoriaceous, base obtuse or cuneate, margins flat, veins 5 or 6, superficial, apex acute [acuminate or apiculate], abaxial surfaces pale green, initially densely pilose, soon glabrous, adaxial brownish or coppery green, soon light green, slightly shiny, not glaucous, flat between lateral veins, glabrescent; fall leaves lacking notable color. Inflorescences on fertile shoots 25–40 mm with 3 or 4 leaves, 5–12-flowered, lax. Pedicels 3–12 mm, glabrate. Flowers 12–14 mm diam.; buds white; hypanthium cupulate, glabrous; sepals: margins sparsely villous, apex acute or obtuse, surfaces glabrous; petals spreading, white, with hair tuft; stamens (16–)20, filaments white, anthers white; styles (1 or)2. Pomes red, dark red, red-purple, crimson, or rich red with cherry, globose or depressed-globose, 10–13 × 12–13 mm, slightly shiny, not glaucous, glabrous; sepals suberect, indumentum not recorded; navel semiopen; style remnants at or near apex. Pyrenes (1 or)2. 2n = 68.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jun; fruiting Sep–Nov.
Habitat: Thickets, hedgerows, edges
Elevation: 0–300 m
Introduced; Ill., Iowa, Asia (China).
Cotoneaster magnificus was synonymized with C. multiflorus Bunge by L. Lingdi and A. R. Brach (2003). Flowers of the latter are 9–10 mm wide in clusters of 10–20, the flowering pedicels are to 7 mm, and the leaves are smaller, thinner, and tend to be ovate. Plants of C. magnificus have flowers 12–14 mm wide in clusters of 5–12, flowering pedicels are to 12 mm, and the leaves are larger, thicker, and mostly elliptic. Reports of wild C. multiflorus from Illinois (F. Swink and G. S. Wilhelm 1994; J. T. Kartesz and C. A. Meacham 2003) and Iowa (W. R. Norris et al. 2001; Kartesz and Meacham) are referred to C. magnificus.