Family: Rosaceae (rose family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Shrub
Long a traditional hedge shrub in the American South, red tip (Photinea x fraseri), also called red top, has distinctive foliage that is bright red when young. As it matures it passes through shades of reddish-copper eventually maturing to a rich dark green. The glossy leaves are finely serrated and arranged alternately on the stem. They are 3 in (7.6 cm) to 5.5 in (cm) inches in length and 1.5-2 in (3.1-5.1 cm) wide. The shrub typically grows 10-12 ft (3.1-3.7 m) in height but may reach 15 ft (4.6 m) if the situation is to its liking. Small white flowers appear in spring arranged in flat-domed, 5-7 in (12.7-17.8 cm) diameter clusters.
Native Lookalikes: Currently no information available here yet, or there are no native Texas species that could be confused with Redtip photinia.
Ecological Threat: Can escape into shaded woodlands and creek sides.
Biology & Spread:
History: Photinia x fraseri is a hybrid cross of Chinese native, Photinia serratifolia (syn=Photinia serrulata) and the Japanese native, Photinia glabra. It was discovered in a seed lot at Fraser's Nurseries in Alabama ca. 1940. (Dirr).The red tip (P. x fraseri) is a hybrid. It resembles a supersized version of one of its parents, the Japanese photinia (P. glabra) which is smaller in stature and leaf size.
U.S. Habitat: Hedge, Woodland, Sunny Edge, Dappled Shade
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: Asia
Distribution in Texas: Distributed widely around the state as an ornamental.
List All Observations of Photinia x fraseri reported by Citizen Scientists
Dirr, M.A. 1990. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. 4th ed. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing Company.
Scheper, J. 2005. Photinea x fraseri. Floridata. Accessed April 2009: http://www.floridata.com/ref/P/phot_xfr.cfm.
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