Rhaphiolepis umbellata
Common Name: Indian hawthorn 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White to pale pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7b-10 where this shrub is easily grown in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best flowering occurs in locations with full sun. Tolerates light shade. Established plants tolerate some drought, but prefer regular moisture. Avoid wetting the leaves when watering this shrub because of its susceptibility to leaf spot. If needed, prune after flowering. This shrub is not winter hardy to the St. Louis climate.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rhaphiolepis umbellata, commonly known as yeddo hawthorne, is a dense, broad-leaved evergreen shrub that typically grows to 4-6’ tall and as wide. It is native to Japan. It features ovate glossy dark green leaves (to 2-3" long). New leaves emerge gray green, but mature to dark green. Fragrant, white to light pink flowers (1/2" wide) bloom in spring in loose panicles to 2-3" tall. Flowers are followed by blue-black berries.

Genus name comes from the Greek words rhaphis meaning a needle and lepis meaning a scale for the very narrow persistent bracteoles on the inflorescence.

Specific epithet is in reference to the umbel-shaped flower clusters.

In the common name, Yeddo is a former name for the Japanese city now known as Tokyo.

Problems

Leaf spot can be troublesome. Watch for aphids, nematodes and scale. Susceptible to fireblight.

Garden Uses

Hedge, foundations, shrub borders. Coastal areas (has good salt tolerance).