Definition of Photinia
1 : 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
2 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 ◆The genus Photinia sometimes includes the closely related toyon, which is now typically classified in the monotypic genus Heteromeles.
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of photinia
New Latin, from Greek phōteinos shining, bright (from phōt-, phōs light) + New Latin -ia
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Photinia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).