Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Indian Hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis x indica

Flowering together: Loropetalum 'China Pink', Indian Hawthorn, and red Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Indian Hawthorn or Rhaphiolepis (Family Rosaceae) is a hardy rounded shrub native to southern China where it is called Wheel Mei. There are both pink and white flowering cultivars available, some of which are marketed as compact and low growing, though most will grow to 1.5 metres or more and very old specimens are known to form tree like thickets with a massive root system. It is one of the garden shrub 'standbys' when you are looking for a hardy plant which will tolerate sea spray coastal gardens or difficult spots which tend to dry out quickly. Masses of flowers are produced in spring and these are followed by clusters of  berries which slowly ripen black by autumn. They are supposed to be edible, though I have never tried them, but at least they are not poisonous making this shrub a child friendly addition to any garden. 
2017 update: I currently don't have any stock.


  1. I too love the dark foliage of Indian hawthorn. When used as a shrub at the back of garden bed they act as a great backdrop for other plants.
    There are some beautiful examples in old graveyards.

  2. Hi Silas,
    It is a shrub I often overlook but I agree it is a wonderful background shrub and as tough as old boots