Photinia x fraseri

shrub of the family Rosaceae

Etymology: the name Photinia  comes from Greek ' photeinos ' which means luminous, referring to the colouring of its foliage.
Origin : Photinia is native to South and East Asia and to North and central America. Photinia serrulata, native to China, was introduced into England (Kew Garden) by 1804.
Most Photinia seen are cultivars :

  1. P. glabra x P. serrulata, created in 1955.
  2. P. x Fraseri.
  3. P. x. Fraseri "'Red Robin" appreciated for the young very red shoots.
Habitat : Photinia contents itself with a preferably fertile ordinary soil especially well drained, but not too calcareous and not too compact. Its site must be sunny (what augments the pigmentation of the foliage) or half-shade, sheltered from the wind.
Hardiness: 6 - 9. Photinia tolerates easily the air pollution and is perfectly adapted to drought.
Shape: compact, dense, spread, upright.
Height: 2 - 4 m tall.
Growth: fast. The Photinia grows more than 1m during the year and requires two prunings a year to keep it at the desired height.
Brownish cracked, harsh bark endowed with clearer lenticels.
Foliage: evergreen. Big simple leaves, of 10 cm on 4 cm, elliptical to obovate form, with toothed margin, with sharp apex and red petiole. Red Robin variety produces red leaves at birth, which turn burgundy and copper, and become dark green, glossy and leathery glaucous on the underside paler. This alternating rhythm of the seasons. Before falling (because even evergreens eventually fall, but rather that it is every year, among the deciduous species, the fall takes place after two or three years), older leaves turn yellow-red or red dark as the young shoots.
Flowers: white to creamy-white, grouped in final corymbs, short clusters or panicles (resemble those of Sorbus); 5 sepals, 5 rounded petals, about 20 stamens. Appearing at the beginning of the spring (April-May). Sweet-scented flowers and nectariferous visited by cetonias gilt and the honeybees.
Fruit drupaceous, ovoid or subglobose, almost dry.

Use : Photinia grows as well in hedge or insulated. In hedge, it is necessary to prune it regularly, at the beginning of the winter and at the end of spring. Isolated, it makes a nice shrub thanks to its compact foliage.

Diseases : the Photinia is susceptible to fire blight causes wilting of the stems, to powdery mildew and leaf spots.

Main species :
- Photinia serrulata: It is a tree 8 to 12 m high, searched for its bronze young foliage turning yellowish to dark green back and bright red fruits, white flowers from late spring to early summer less drought-tolerant, but tolerates limestone.
- Photinia glabra  Maxim or hairless Photinia originates from Japan: its foliage is bronze, its flowering is of a white rose in the late spring, its fruits are red, turning black when ripe.


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