: a genus of small trees and shrubs (family Rosaceae) native to Asia that have shining, evergreen leaves, showy white paniculate or corymbose flower clusters, and typically red fruits and that are widely cultivated as ornamentals
photinia plural photinias : any plant of the genus Photinia
Photinia has long been a standout among shrubs because of one peculiar characteristic: Its leaves, when first formed, are a bright scarlet red—before they eventually turn to a prosaic green.Joshua Siskin, Daily News of Los Angeles, 20 Dec. 2003
Overgrown photinias are not so tolerant to severe pruning, so need to be cut back selectively to allow sunlight into the interior.Tony Tomeo, San Jose (California) Mercury News, 8 Sept. 2011

Note: The genus Photinia sometimes includes the closely related toyon, which is now typically classified in the monotypic genus Heteromeles.

Word History


New Latin, from Greek phōteinos shining, bright (from phōt-, phōs light) + New Latin -ia

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Cite this Entry

“Photinia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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