Rhaphiolepis indica 'Snow White'

Common Name: India hawthorn 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 where this shrub is easily grown in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best flowering and best resistance to leaf spot disease occur 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 indica, commonly known as India hawthorn, is a dense, broad-leaved evergreen shrub that typically grows to 4-6’ tall and as wide. It is native to slopes, wooded areas along streams and roadsides in southern China. It features serrate, oblong-lanceolate leaves (to 2-3" long). New leaves emerge with bronze tints but mature to deep 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 means of India.

‘Snow White’ is a compact cultivar that typically grows to 2-3’ tall. Fragrant, pure white flowers (1/2” wide) bloom in spring.


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


Hedge, foundations, shrub borders.