Photinia fraseri – Red Robin

Evergreen. Upright shrub or small tree. Named for its foliage, red when young, maturing to green. Small white flowers in clusters. Mid to late spring.

Height and Spread: 15ft / 5m

Photinia /fɵˈtɪniə/ is a genus of about 40–60 species of small trees and large shrubs, but the taxonomy has recently varied greatly, with the genera Heteromeles, Stranvaesia and Aronia sometimes included in Photinia.

They are a part of the rose family (Rosaceae) and related to the apple.

Suitable for London gardens. Other Photinia listed in our Trees and Shrubs page as a Hardy Ornamental. The year is the date of introduction to British gardens as stated by A D Webster in his Hardy Ornamental and Flowering Tress & Shrubs. Edited for London by London Tree Surgeons.

PHOTINIA JAPONICA (syn Eriobotrya japonica).—Loquat, Japan Medlar, or Japan Quince. Japan, 1787. This is chiefly remarkable for its handsome foliage, the leaves being oblong of shape and downy on the under sides. The white flowers are of no great beauty, but being produced at the beginning of winter, and when flowers are scarce, are all the more welcome. It requires protection in all but the warmer parts of these islands.

P. ARBUTIFOLIA (syns Crataegus arbutifolia and Mespilus arbutifolia).—Arbutus-leaved Photinia, or Californian May-bush. California, 1796. This is a very distinct shrub, with leaves resembling those of the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus), the flowers in an elongated panicle, and bright red bark on the young wood.

P. BENTHAMIANA is only worthy of culture for its neat habit and freedom of growth when suitably placed.

P. SERRULATA (syn Crataegus glabra).—Chinese Hawthorn. Japan and China, 1804. This has Laurel-like leaves, 4 inches or 5 inches long, and, especially when young, of a beautiful rosy-chocolate colour, and clustered at the branch-tips. Flowers small, white, and produced in flat corymbs. An invaluable seaside shrub.

They all grow well either in light, rich loam, or in sandy, peaty earth, and are usually propagated by grafting.

2015-04-23-15.51.57-300x225 Photinia fraseri - Red Robin
Photinia fraseri – Red Robin – London Trees and Shrubs – LondonTreeSurgeons – April 2015

Photinias are very popular ornamental shrubs, grown for their fruit and foliage. Numerous hybrids and cultivars are available; several of the cultivars are selected for their strikingly bright red young leaves in spring and summer. The most widely planted are:

  • Photinia × fraseri (P. glabra × P. serratifolia) – Red Tip Photinia


  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ – probably the most widely planted of all, it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit

  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Little Red Robin’, a plant similar to ‘Red Robin’, but dwarf in stature with an ultimate height/spread of around 2–3 ft

  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Camilvy’
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Curly Fantasy’
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Super Hedger’ – a newer hybrid with strong upright growth
  • Photinia × fraseri ‘Pink Marble’ also known as ‘Cassini’, a new cultivar with rose-pink tinted new growth and a creamy-white variegated margin on the leaves
  • Photinia ‘Redstart’ (Stranvaesia davidiana × P. × fraseri)
  • Photinia ‘Palette’ (parentage unknown)
  • Photinia davidiana ‘Fructu Luteo’ (fruit yellow)
  • Photinia davidiana ‘Prostrata’ (a low-growing form)
2015-04-23-15.52.20-300x225 Photinia fraseri - Red Robin
Photinia fraseri – Red Robin – London Trees and Shrubs – LondonTreeSurgeons – April 2015







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