A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Photinia arbutifolia Lindl.

Modern name

Heteromeles arbutifolia var. arbutifolia


Crataegus arbutifolia Dryander, nom. illegit.; Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindl.) M. Roem.; Photinia salicifolia Presl

An evergreen tree occasionally 30 ft high, or in cultivation more often a shrub, with downy young bark. Leaves stiff and leathery, 2 to 4 in. long, 34 to 112 in. wide, oblong, lanceolate or obovate, tapering at the base to a thick downy stalk 12 to 34 in. long, the margins set with stiff teeth, each tipped with a small black gland. Flowers produced very numerously in a large, flattish panicle, composed of corymbose clusters terminating the shoot, and in the axils of the uppermost leaves. Each flower is from 14 to 38 in. diameter; petals pure white; calyx-tube with glabrous, triangular lobes; stamens ten. Fruits about the size of holly berries, bright red, tasting like common haws.

Native of California; introduced by Menzies in 1796. It is a handsome evergreen, but unfortunately not reliably hardy. It may be grown on a wall, but is, of course, at its best in the open where the climate is suitable. In California the fruit-covered branches are used for Christmas decorations as we use holly.



Other species in the genus