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a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae. They are shrubs measuring up to 3 m tall. The leaves are entire. The small flowers are white or pale pink. The red or black fruit is a minute mealy pome, with two to four seeds. There are more than 100 species, distributed in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In the USSR there are approximately 35 species. The most common species is Cotoneaster melanocarpa. Common species in the Caucasus are the black-fruited C. meyeri and the red-fruited C. integerrima; the latter also grows in the Crimea. Numerous species of Cotoneaster are found in the mountains of Middle Asia, including C. megalocarpa, C. multiflora, C. insignis (which sometimes grows into a tree), and C. hissarica. The last species, which is drought-resistant, is used to secure slopes and as a stock in gardens. The species C. lucida, which is native to Siberia, is used to form hedges.