Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement


Image of Rhaphiolepis

Jessie Keith



Botanical Name


Plant Common Name

Indian Hawthorn

General Description

The genus Rhaphiolepis comprises approximately 15 species of shrubs and small trees from subtropical and temperate regions of East Asia.

These cold-tender evergreens bear leathery, glossy-green, oval to lance-shaped leaves with toothed or smooth edges. Newly emerged leaves are often red or bronze. Loose clusters of small, five-petaled, unscented or mildly fragrant flowers appear toward the branch tips in late winter, spring, or summer. The star-shaped blooms are pink, white, or red, with a central tuft of yellow stamens. Small, berry-like, blue to black-purple fruits follow the flowers.

Several shrubby Rhaphiolepis are widely grown in mild-climate gardens for their attractive blooms and foliage. Indian hawthorn (R. indica) is a slow-growing, dome-shaped shrub with lovely pink or white flowers and bronze to red new leaves. The somewhat larger R. umbellata bears thick, relatively broad leaves and fragrant white flowers on dense rounded plants.

Most Rhaphiolepis species are highly adaptable, tolerating a wide range of conditions. For densest growth and heaviest flowering, plant them in full sun and rich, well-drained, acidic soil. In hot arid regions they do best with midday shade. They are among the best broadleaf evergreens for seaside conditions. Hardiness is species-dependent, with some Rhaphiolepis exhibiting considerable cold-tolerance. These handsome evergreens are extensively planted in mixed borders, hedges, and foundation plantings, and are sometimes employed as small specimen trees. They also make good greenhouse plants. Some Rhaphiolepis species have proven invasive in regions with favorable climates (such as New Zealand and southeastern Australia).


  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Red, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Blue, Purple, Dark Blue, Blue Violet, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Orange, Dark Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing