T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cotoneaster simonsii (Khasia berry)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Amygdaloideae
Tribe: Maleae
Subtribe: Malinae
Genus: Cotoneaster
Species: C. simonsii
Binominal name: Cotoneaster simonsii
Synonyms: Cotoneaster symondsii
Common name(s): Khasia berry, Himalayan cotoneaster.


This plant is poisonous
Visit http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html

Cotoneaster simonsii is a deciduous or semi deciduous shrub to 4 m high and is classed as a weed by Biosecurity New Zealand. It invades dry forests and open woodlands adjacent to urban areas. This species, like the other cotoneasters, forms thickets under trees and dense infestations will shade out the native ground flora and impede the regeneration of overstorey plants. Its habitat is cool forest and shrubland up to 900 m on bank, clay, cliff, coast, dry, flat , forest edge, gorge, grassland, hill, margin, open, pasture, riparian, roadside, rock outcrop, sand, scrubland, shaded, sheltered, shrubland, silt, slope, stone, terrace and wasteland. 
It originates the Himalayas (i.e. India, Bhutan and Nepal) and south-eastern Asia (i.e. Myanmar).

Its stems are erect or slightly arching. The younger stems are densely covered in small brownish hairs.
The relatively small green pointed tipped leaves (about 25 mm long and 15 mm wide) have shiny upper surfaces with a sparse covering of close-lying hairs. They later become hairless and shining. The undersides of the leaves are a paler green have long hairs. The leaves are usually bunched along stems.
In November, December upright white-pink flowers with five petals(2-3 mm long) are produces in clusters of 1-4.
The small shiny, egg-shaped berries which appear December to July are 5-10 mm long turn orange-red or scarlet when mature, small shiny, egg-shaped, 'berries' (5-10 mm long) turn orange-red or scarlet when mature. The fruit of this species are poisonous to humans.  A rose-tan dye is obtained from the fruit.
Cotoneaster simonsii reproduces by seed which are commonly spread by birds that eat the brightly coloured fruit. The seeds may also be spread in dumped garden waste, and if plants are cut down they will produce suckers from the base.