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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rhaphiolepis 'Montic' - Majestic Beauty Indian Hawthorn

Also called Majestic Beauty by the patent holders, this small tree is a larger relative of the landscape shrub Indian Hawthorn. Reportedly a hybrid of Rhaphiolepis and Eriobotrya resulting in tree form with a stronger upright habit and larger leaves. Trees are evergreen growing to about 20' but are usually in the 10-12' range, with a rounded canopy on a single stem resulting in a form we used to call a lollipop. Reasonably fast growing, its a useful tree for smaller areas.

Leaves are evergreen, simple, obovate to ovate shaped, 5-6" long, about 1-2" wide, dark green, stiff, with serrated margins. Spring foliage has a nice bronze color.

Flowers are pink and larger than most Indian Hawthorns. Borne in large clusters. Most Rhaphiolepis have 5 petals, while these have more, often 8-10.

The canopy is usually very tight, possibly from hard pruning, but looks like a nightmare to prune any other way than rounding.

Naming is always a bit confusing. I have seen this listed many different ways. Some list it as a intergeneric hybrid with the X in front of the genus but with the genus name Rhaphiolepis which is wrong because if it is an intergeneric hybrid the genus name would be a combined name from the two genera. I also see the plant listed as the cultivar 'Majestic Beauty' but that's really the Trademarked name. Oregon State suggests some experts call this plant R. ×delacourii but they also use the single quotes around Majestic Beauty. Not picking on anyone, its just another example of how hard it is to know the origin of many of our plants and without knowing the origin its hard to put it in the correct spot. I have it in my database as a hybrid but I'm not sure. I think its best to leave it without an x anywhere and to exclude any specific epithet.

I don't think so. Pretty distinct. Leaves are smaller than Eriobotrya foliage.

Corner of Soquel Drive and Trout Gulch Rd.

OSH parking lot, way too round and low for a parking lot.

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