Photinia villosa (Thunb.) DC.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Photinia villosa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-06-20.


  • Crataegus villosa Thunb.
  • Pourthiaea villosa (Thunb.) Decne.
  • Photinia variabilis Hemsl.


(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Photinia villosa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-06-20.

A deciduous shrub or a small tree. Leaves obovate, or ovate-lanceolate, 112 to 312 in. long, 34 to 112 in. wide, the apex drawn out into a long fine point, tapered at the base, finely and regularly toothed, each tooth gland-tipped. Flowers white, in corymbs 1 in. long and 112 in. wide, produced in May; stalks conspicuously warted; each flower about 12 in. in diameter. Fruit the size and shape of common haws, red.

Native of Japan, China, and Korea. It is a variable plant especially in the amount of down on the leaves, young shoots, and flower-stalk. In the typical P. villosa the leaves are, as a rule, more obovate, and all the younger parts of the plant hairy; the flower-stalk is felted with grey down, and the fruit is about 12 in. long. In var. laevis (see further below), the leaves are usually longer-pointed and, like the branchlets and flowers, are glabrous or only slightly downy; the brilliant red fruits are 12 in. long. These two varieties, while distinct enough in themselves, are united by various intermediate forms, and it is doubtful if the distinction need be recognised in gardens. Indeed it never has been, since most of the plants grown as P. villosa belong strictly to the var. laevis. It was introduced to Europe by Siebold around 1865, but did not reach this country until later in the century.

Although not in the first rank as an ornamental, P. villosa makes an elegant shrub of large size and is very reliable both in its fruiting and in its red autumn colouring. It is not suitable for chalky soils.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

There are now young plants at Kew from two seed collections by Beyer, Erskine and Cowley in South Korea (1982). One was from near Kangnung in Kangwon province (no. 136) and the other from near the summit of Mount Pukhan in Kyonggi province (no. 224).

f. maximowicziana (Lévl.) Rehd.

Pyrus sinensis var. maximowicziana Lévl.
Photinia maximowicziana (Lévl.) Nakai, not P. maximowiczii Decne

Leaves almost sessile, rounded and abruptly acuminate, sometimes almost truncate, at the apex, cuneate at the base; veins deeply impressed above. Autumn colour of cultivated plants yellow. R. L. Lancaster considers that this photinia is distinct enough to merit specific rank and has proposed for it the name P. koreana in the Manual of Messrs Hillier & Sons.

var. laevis (Thunb.) Dipp.

Crataegus laevis Thunb.
Pourthiaea arguta Lav., not Decne

This variety has been discussed above. Figured in Bot. Mag., t. 9275.

var. sinica Rehd. & Wils

This variety, which represents the species in Central and Western China, was discovered by Henry and introduced by Wilson about 1901. It is a slender deciduous tree 18 to 25 ft high, with downy young shoots. Leaves oval to oblong, sometimes rather obovate, pointed, usually tapered but sometimes rounded at the base, finely and sharply toothed, 1{1/2} to 3{1/2} in. long, {1/2} to 1{1/2} in. wide, bright green and soon glabrous above, paler beneath and downy especially on the midrib and veins, becoming glabrous by late summer; stalk {1/12} to {1/5} in. long, downy. Flowers produced in May on racemose corymbs 1 to 2 in. wide with downy stalks. Each flower is about {1/3} in. wide, with white rounded petals, a woolly bell-shaped calyx with triangular teeth and twenty stamens. Fruits egg-shaped, {1/2} in. long, orange-scarlet; the fruit stalks conspicuously warted.This variety, which replaces typical P. villosa in W. China, is distinct in its mostly elliptic leaves and in its larger fruits, borne in racemes rather than corymbs. It, too, colours well in the autumn.