Photinia beauverdiana
Common Name: Christmas berry
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Western China
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 6 where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates full shade, but with less flowering and more susceptibility to leaf spot diseases. Somewhat drought tolerant once established. Propagate by cuttings. Avoid wet soils. Water root zones (avoid getting water on the leaves). Site plants in areas with good air circulation. Prune in winter to thin (better air circulation). Shrubs grown in USDA Zone 6 should be sited in protected areas such as the southern or western sides of buildings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Photinia beauverdiana, commonly called Christmas berry, is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the rose family that typically matures over time to 20-30' tall. Some photinias (e.g., P. glabra and P. serratifolia) have evergreen foliage, but the within species is deciduous. It is native to slopes, mountainsides, riverbanks, thickets and woodland areas in central to western China, North Vietnam and Bhutan. It is particularly well-noted for having excellent orange-red fall color plus showy red berries which remain on the tree well into winter including, as the common name suggests, over Christmas. Serrate, elliptic to ovate leaves (5" long) with acute to caudate tips emerge purple-brown in spring, mature to dark green, and turn a showy orange-red in fall. Tiny, cup-shaped, white flowers (each to 1/4" across) bloom in spring (April-May) in crowded corymb-like panicles to 1" long and 2" wide. Each tiny flower (1/4") has a 5 parted calyx, 5 petals and 20 stamens. Flowers are followed by orbicular to egg-shaped, berry-like, red fruits (1/4" in diameter), each having 1-4 seeds. Members of the genus Photinia are sometimes referred to as being thornless relatives of hawthorns (Crataegus).

Genus name comes from the Greek word photeinos meaning shining in reference to the shiny leaves of some species.

Specific epithet honors Gustave Beauverd (1867-1942), Swiss botanist.

Problems

This species is moderately resistant to photinia leaf spot disease (Entomosporium maculatum) which causes significant problems to some species of photinia. This leaf spot disease is generally more difficult to control in the hot and humid summer climates of the deep South in USDA Zones 8-9 than in climates further north. Fireblight and powdery mildew may also occur.

Garden Uses

Borders and woodland gardens. Specimen. Screen. May be pruned to form an attractive hedge.