Stranvaesia davidiana Decne.

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

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'Stranvaesia davidiana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-02-23.


  • Photinia davidiana (Decne.) Cardot


Other taxa in genus


Narrowing gradually to a point.
Sharply pointed.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Organism arising via vegetative or asexual reproduction.
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
(of hybrids) Formed by fertilisation between species of different genera.
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
Loose or open.
Inversely lanceolate; broadest towards apex.
Small grains that contain the male reproductive cells. Produced in the anther.


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

Recommended citation
'Stranvaesia davidiana' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-02-23.

An evergreen shrub or small tree to about 35 ft high; young shoots slender, clad rather densely with whitish hairs, later more or less glabrous. Leaves entire, sometimes undulate, green on both sides, variable in length and shape, lanceolate, oblong, elliptic or oblanceolate, 2 to 5 in. long, 38 to about 1 in. wide as usually seen in gardens, but up to 134 in. wide in the more robust forms, narrowed at the apex to a slender acute or acuminate tip, sometimes more broadly acute; petioles clad with the same type of hair as the young growths, 12 to 34 in. long. Stipules awl-shaped, soon falling. Flowers white, about 14 in. across, opening around midsummer, arranged in rather lax hairy corymbs about 3 in. wide. Petals five, roundish, concave, soon falling. Stamens about twenty with red or pinkish anthers. Fruits bright red, globose, 14 to 38 in. wide. Bot. Mag, tt. 8862, 9008.

A native of western, central and southern China, extending into Vietnam; discovered by Père David near Mupin in W. Szechwan in 1869; introduced by Wilson from Mt Omei, not far from the type-locality, in 1903, when collecting for Messrs Veitch, and again four years later during his first expedition for the Arnold Arboretum (W. 1064 from the Panlanshan, W. Szechwan). A plant, almost certainly from W. 1064, received at Kew from the Arnold Arboretum in 1910, was described by Dr Hutchinson in 1920 as a new species, S. salicifolia (Bot. Mag., t. 8862), characterised by rather narrow, more or less parallel-sided leaves; a broader-leaved plant from the batch of seed was grown at Aldenham. This species, which Dr Hutchinson compared with S. undulata, not mentioning S. davidiana at all, is a very minor variation of the species. Some plants cultivated as typical S. davidiana derive from seeds collected by Forrest in N.W. Yunnan on the Mekong-Salween divide during his 1917–19 expedition; the plant portrayed in Bot. Mag., t. 9008, raised from this sending, had broader and more acuminate leaves than in “S. salicifolia”.

S. davidiana, as usually seen in gardens, makes a rather gaunt, sparsely branched and not very leafy shrub, often tall enough to be reckoned as a tree, and looks better when surrounded or fronted by other shrubs than when grown as a specimen. But some plants offered as S. salicifolia are of more compact habit. It is not particularly ornamental in flower – in this respect it is inferior to the pyracanthas – but few shrubs give a more reliable display of fruits, which are too dry to be of much interest to birds. The leaves persist for more than a year and usually turn bright red before falling. It is perfectly hardy, crops well even in a semi-shaded position, and will grow in any soil that is not too dry or excessively chalky. No pruning is needed.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† cv. ‘Palette. – Leaves variegated light green, pink and cream; branchlets reddish when young. Raised in Holland. It remains to be seen how effective this novelty will be when it attains full size, but it certainly looks attractive in a pot.

A hybrid between Stranvaesia davidiana ‘Fructu Luteo’ (see parent) and Photinia × fraseri ‘Robusta’ has been made by Peter Dummer, propagator at the Hillier Nurseries. The male parent rarely flowers, but a truss was noticed on a cutting and its pollen used on a forced plant of the stranvaesia. Only one seedling was grown on, and the clone, at first distinguished as ‘PD 34’, has been named ‘Redstart.

As noted in the introductory note to Stranvaesia, this genus is doubtfully distinct from Photinia, so × Stranvinia as the cross has been named, may have a short life as an intergeneric hybrid. But this does not alter the fact that ‘Redstart’ is a shrub of great promise, with red young growths and, unlike the pollen-parent, flowering freely (in June) and producing pendent trusses of red, yellow-tipped berries.

var. undulata (Decne.) Rehd. & Wils.

S. undulata Decne

This differs from the typical state of the species in its shorter leaves, to about 3{1/2} in. long, more undulate at the margin, and in the sometimes almost glabrous inflorescence. But intermediates occur, and Rehder and Wilson, in reducing S. undulata to the rank of variety, questioned whether it really deserved to be recognised even at that level. It was originally described from a specimen collected in Kweichow, and was introduced by Wilson in 1901 from W. Hupeh, where it is said to be common and very variable. Bot. Mag., t. 8418.Whatever may be the botanical standing of this variety, the plants from the Wilson introduction are distinct enough in being of lower and more spreading growth, often broader than high, and in having scarlet or orange-scarlet fruits. There is a yellow-fruited form – ‘Fructu Luteo’ – which was apparently first raised, before 1920, at the Donard nursery in Co. Down. It has also given rise to ‘Prostrata’, which has prostrate stems but sends up erect branchlets here and there; it is vigorous and eventually takes up an excessively large space. The original plant was raised at Hidcote Manor, probably from seeds collected by Forrest in Yunnan.