Bronzed new foliage fades to green.

Almost all photinia in local landscapes is Fraser’s photinia, Photinia X fraseri, which is a thornless and fruitless hybrid of two species that are now rare. Some of the old fashioned photinia are thorny. Some produce copious berries that can get messy, or feed birds who can get messy. More modern cultivars of Fraser’s photinia are becoming more available.

Fraser’s photinia is popular as a shorn evergreen hedge. New foliage that develops after shearing is richly reddish bronze, and fades to dark green. Bronze color is best in spring, after late winter shearing. Summer shearing stimulates a repeat performance, although it may not last as long before the foliage fades to green. Shearing enhances foliar density.

Unshorn photinia can develop into small trees as tall as fifteen feet, with new growth that is a bit less richly colored than that of shorn photinia. It also blooms, often profusely, with big and rounded trusses of tiny creamy white flowers. Bloom is not impressively colorful. Floral fragrance is objectionable to some. All photinia types are susceptible to fire blight.


4 thoughts on “Fraser’s Photinia

  1. This plant was a huge disaster in Atlanta thirty years ago. Overplanted everywhere, it became infested with black spot and then was killed by freezing weather…no longer used there. A few huge ones survive but are rare.

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    1. That is why I am none too keen on it. It was overplanted here as well. Blackspot is not such a serious problem like it is elsewhere. I just find them to be more common than they should be. There are a few at work that I sort of like, but only because they make nice hedges.

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    1. This hybrid is fruitless. It would probably not do well in your region. I see them in the Pacific Northwest, but their foliage is quite shabby from foliar blight, and mature shrubs get disfigured from fireblight. They are susceptible to the same diseases here, but are not so ruined by it. I have not seen straight species that produce berries in many years.

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