The Indian hawthorn tree, which has the scientific name Rhaphiolepis indica, is an evergreen shrub that can grow in most pH soil types. Locations with good drainage prevent the rotting of its roots, and it can be propagated with semi-hardwood cuttings and seeds. To make it resistant to drought, consistently water it for an entire season so that it can grow deep roots.
It requires direct sunlight and can tolerate pollution, humidity, drought, heat and salt. It can grow up to three feet tall, but specimens have grown to 15 feet. The leaves are thick in consistency and have a darker shade of green on the top side. The flowers come in shades of pink and white and have a star-shaped form. The tree should be pruned immediately after flowering.
It will grow in hardiness zones seven to 11 and survive down to a minimum temperature of 0 F in winter. It is subject to pests such as aphids, flatheaded borers, Florida wax scale, Fuller rose beetle, chilli thrips and black vine weevil. Diseases that affect the tree include entomosporium leaf spot, root rots, verticillium wilt, fire blight and powdery mildew.
Some fruit varieties from the hawthorn family can be eaten if cooked, and they can also be made into jam. The cedar waxwing bird in particular prefers its fruit. It has been successfully crossed with the loquat. It originates in southern China.