|William Fox-Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester and a fine amateur botanist, was the first to cultivate these lovely fruiting shrubs. He brought a worldwide plant collection to his South Dorset estate, and the Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens still delight visitors to this balmy English coastline. His namesake plants, especially Stranvaesia davidiana, have won favor in California and other warm-temperate and subtropical areas. Cedar waxwings and robins relish the rosy, Hawthorn-like fruits, borne generously well into winter. With only a structural difference in the ripe fruits separating them from the closely-related Photinia group, some species have been reclassified, so keep both names in mind. In ideal conditions they reach 25 feet tall. Silky hairs soften the young shoots, and the toothless leaves have hairy, often reddish stems. Loose clusters of small white flowers with red anthers bloom briefly at the branch tips in early summer. Wavy-edged leaves add textural interest to Stranvaesia davidiana undulata. They do equally well in full sun or shade for part of the day. Provide fertile soil and keep mulched for peak condition. They appreciate regular watering in dry weather. Stranvaesia davidiana is hardy to Wathington, D.C., and can be tried farther north, with good shelter. Grow from cuttings, or stratified seed: soak for 12 to 24 hours, then store in damp sand, vermiculite or moss at 40º F for 3 months before sowing.
Its scarlet fruits are at their best around Christmas. Narrow, glossy green leaves are reddish when young, turn bronze or purple in fall. Needs plenty of space in which to grow.
Attributes - Stranvaesia davidiana
Plant Type: Shrub, Tree
Bloom Season: Early Summer
Flower Color: White
Height: 6 ft. to 24 ft.
Width: 24 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Climate: Zones 7, 8, 9, 10
Notes: Thrives in Acid Soil. Showy Flowers.