Rhaphiolepis umbellate (Sexton's bride)
Species: R. umbellata
Binomial name: Rhaphiolepis umbellate
Synonyms: Rhaphiolepis ovata, Rhaphiolepis japonica, Laurus umbellata, Mespilus sieboldii, Rhaphiolepis indica f. umbellate, Rhaphiolepis indica var. umbellate,
Common name: Sexton's bride,Yeddo hawthorn, Indian Hawthorn,
Yeddo is a former name for the Japanese city now known as Tokyo.
Rhaphiolepis umbellate is a native from Japan and Korea and is now fully naturalised in New Zealand. Its habitat is coastal areas, dry, lowland, open, pasture, ridge, rock outcrop, sand, scrubland, shaded, sheltered, shrubland and terrace areas.
It is a slow-growing, small evergreen shrub of dense rounded habit with alternate, simple, glossy, dark green leathery, broadly-oval leaves (up to 10 cm long).
In Jul.–Dec it has fragrant white flowers 2-3cm in width, in terminal panicles up to 7 cm long and with about 20 flowers.
The flowers are followed (Mar.–June) by small purple-black to bluish black fruit (0.6-1.2 mm across). The shrub is dispersed by seed.
Since R. umbellate is tolerant of salt spray, wind and drought tolerant its been widely planted on New Plymouth coastal areas.
There are several cultivars which are named “Bay Breeze”, “Blueberry Muffin”, “Clara”, “Majestic Beauty”, “Minor”, “Olivia”, “Pink Flush”, “Rosalinda”.
Photo below is of Rhaphiolepis umbellate speading down a coastal bank (New Plymouth). This shrub is now listed in Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database. http://www.biosecurityperformance.maf.govt.nz/ and Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292-42.
Rhaphiolepis umbellate growing as a weed on Whangamata beach.
Rhaphiolepis umbellate growing on the coast at north of Port Taranaki.
Spent flowers, flowers and flowers buds June.