- Family: Rose Family – Rosaceae
- Growing form and height: Shrub. 30–100 cm (1–3.5 ft.).
- Flower: Regular, small, nodding. Calyx-lobes 5, triangular, with hairy margins but otherwise hairless. Petals 5, white to reddish, forming a globose to bell-shaped corolla. Stamens 20. Carpels 3, partly fused. Flowers solitary or in groups of two to four in the leaf axils.
- Leaves: Alternate on the annual shoot. Short-stalked, small, entire. Stalk hairy. Blade oval, toothed, deep green and almost hairless above, grey-downy beneath. Stipules sharp-pointed, reddish. Autumn colour orange.
- Buds: Small, hairy. Previous season’s stipules long lasting, protecting new buds.
- Fruit: Fleshy, red berry.
- Habitat: Rock outcrops, coppices, thickets. Rarely an ornamental and an escape.
- Flowering time: May–June.
Cotoneasters are non-thorny shrubs with smallish, entire leaves. The genus comprises 100–270 species, 40 of which native to Southwestern China. They are plants of montane forests typically growing on cliff-ledges. Several species are popular ornamentals, many mat-like and suitable for rock gardens. Young shoots of Scandinavian cotoneaster are downy, but they turn hairless eventually. The plant is poisonous.
In Finland two other cotoneaster species are possible to be found in the wilds as garden escapes. Common cotoneaster (wild cotoneaster, Cotoneaster integerrimus) looks very much like Scndinavian cotoneaster. The other escape is shiny cotoneaster (hedge cotonester, Cotoneaster lucidus). Its leaves are darker green and shiny as the species name tells.