In any tournament, it’s the #1 and #2 seeds that get all the attention. They have the flashy plays and social media-friendly photography.
But the lower-ranking seeds are usually really good, too. In the NCAA basketball tournament, for example, the #16 seeded team is usually pretty amazing, just a bit too small to handle the future NBA stars playing for the power conferences.
It’s the same with our Shrub Madness plant competition: the #16 seeds may not send Instagram into overdrive, but these are solid performers in gardens and landscapes.
If all this talk of seeds has you a little confused, here’s a good explanation.
Little Dipper® Cotoneaster (take a look at this fun pronunciation video) is one of our #16 seeds this year, and it’s a really nice little plant. It has a big challenge in Shrub Madness since it’s going up against Sunorita® rose (roses are such bracket bullies!), but in the garden, it totally holds its own.
Salt? Alkaline soil? Deer? No problem. This little guy keeps on going and looks good doing it. It will easily fill in a big space, rewarding you with white flowers in spring and bright red fruit in fall. It grows 4-5′ wide and just 6-12″ tall and is hardy in USDA 5-8. Plant it in full sun or part shade.
Actually, Cotoneaster does all right on social media. Not like roses, but an Instagram search for #cotoneaster will reward you with some amazing pictures. Check it out!