Rosaceae (rose family) Photinia

Photinia serratifolia Chinese photinia

Eastern Asia
Photinia serratifolia leaves. From Trees of Stanford and Environs, Ronald Bracewell

A large shrub or small tree with attractive coppery reddish foliage in spring, P. serratifolia was commonly used for roadside planting. A survivor from early planting in the arboretum, east of the Angel of Grief, has reached small tree stature. A larger tree is to the right of the pond at Kingscote Gardens. The large oval leaves, up to 8 inches, are sharply toothed at first but later leaves are less so. Large white flower clusters are replaced by bunches of red berries in summer and fall. See Chinese photinia on Santa Ynez Street opposite 713. Peter Coutts Circle is ringed with specimens maintained in tree form. An old specimen at the right front corner of the Gould Center, 575 Salvatierra Street, near Campus Drive East, was lost.

Chinese photinia, like the glossy privet, is considered an old-timey planting and has been replaced by red-tip photinia, P. × fraseri, a smaller tree or shrub popular as sheared hedges. New spring foliage is fire engine red; leaf margins are finely serrate but not prickly. See it in the seating area south of Arrillaga Alumni Center, the north side of Littlefield Center, and 315 Bonair Siding.

Related Material: Stanford Grounds Plant Information Sheet. List No.12, p.10.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the P. serrulata entry in the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings added several P. × fraseri locations. Nomenclature Note added (Jan 2018, SP). P. serratifolia replaces P. serrulata and becomes the only species in the title; locations updated and added to; edits (Jan 2024, SP).