20 May 2019

Davidson’s Photinia

Photinia davidsoniae

Most people know Photinia as a hedge in the form of ‘Red Robin’ with its bright new red growth.  Left untrimmed, Red Robin will also get to a good size – but not as big as this one.

Davidson’s Photinia may well be the largest of the Chinese Photinia. The specimen at Eastwoodhill in Corner Park is approximately 25 metres tall and is one of the largest in the world.  This plant was purchased from Harrison’s Nursery of Palmerston North in 1934 for 2/6d. All the other Davidson’s Photinia at Eastwoodhill come from this one tree.

Photinia davidsoniae is unusual amongst Photinia in having spines on the young growth, similar to a plum tree. Photinia, like the plum, is in the rose family along with peach, apple, cotoneaster, and loquat etc. 

This species exhibits a reddish colour on the old leaves before they fall and an orange tinge to the new growth. The fruit in autumn last well into winter and is a strong colour.