Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld



Indian Hawthorn

Synonyms: sometimes spelled Raphiolepis
Family: Rosaceae

Raphiolepis are tough but pretty shrubs. Flowers have something of the look of cherry or apple blossom, look in shades of pink or white. s such Rhaphiolepis compliments a traditional cottage or English-influenced style garden.

Most types available in Australia are cultivars or hybrids of R. indica or R. x delacourii.

Berry-producing cultivars are frowned on in Queensland these days, for fear of them being spread by birds and becoming weeds. Trim immediately after flowering to prevent berry formation, or select a sterile cultivar. Unfortunately, information about berry formation on new varieties is difficult to find.

The old R. indica variety can reach almost the size of a small tree with sufficient age, but can be readily controlled by pruning, either as a bushy shrub or a trunked tree. Some selections tend to be naturally compact.

For example, 'Apple Blossom' is a pink-flowered variety which has been around for quite a long time and grows ~1-1.5 metres. By comparison, Raphiolepis Cosmic Pink™ is a relatively new pink cultivar, which the distributors say is naturally compact up to 80cm in size. Raphiolepis Cosmic White™ is larger (to ~2m) but is said to have larger flowers than usual.

'Springtime', 'Oriental Pearl', 'Spring Rapture', 'Little Bliss' are some other varieties you could investigate.

Rhaphiolepis in the Landscape

rhaphiolepis_berries rhaphiolepis_berries rhaphiolepis_berries
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Examples of common, old-fashioned Rhaphiolepis, as seen in Brisbane. Flowering season is late August/September.

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A pink-flowered cultivar, possibly 'Apple Blossom' (Brisbane, early September, 2016)

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Rhaphiolepis 'Snow Maiden'

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Unidentified variety
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