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PHOTINIA x fraseri

Image of Photinia x fraseri

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PHOTINIA x fraseri

Plant Common Name

Red Tip Photinia

General Description

Amazingly pretty red spring growth along with white clustered flowers has given red-tip photinia prominent regard in the garden. A cross between Photinia serratifolia and Photinia glabra, both which are native to the warm temperate regions of eastern and southern Asia, it is an evergreen large shrub or small tree. The leaves are glossy, oval or lance-shaped, alternately arranged on the stems and have slightly serrate edges – like that of a steak knife. They are thick and leathery and the new foliage is red, burgundy or pink when it emerges. The flowers commonly appear in spring and are produced at the ends of the branches in dense, often flat-topped clusters. Each small bloom is slightly cup-shaped, has five rounded petals and many stamens. In fall, these give way to small apple-like fruits that usually turn red when ripe. Birds are fond of the fruit and several species of butterflies use the foliage for larval food.

Red-tip photinia needs rich, well-draining soil that is lightly acidic to neutral in pH. Full sun is best for good growth, though these plants are tolerant of light to moderate shade, which is essential in hot summer regions. Adapted to frosts and mild subfreezing temperatures in winter, they will falter in regions with oppressively hot, humid, rainy summers. Red-tip is tolerant of city conditions and is extensively planted in urban areas like parking lots. Large stature, attractive foliage and a tough prunable character have made red tip photinia popular for hedges and screens in warm temperate regions.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green, Pink, Rose

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Red, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No