Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, evergreen. Winter buds ovoid, small; scales few, exposed. Leaves petiolate, stipulate, simple, leathery, venation camptodromous, margin entire, undulate, or serrate. Corymbs or subumbels, terminal or axillary, few to numerous flowered; bracts early caducous. Hypanthium campanulate, 1/2 adnate to base of ovary. Sepals 5, erect, short. Petals 5, spreading, white, base shortly clawed. Stamens 20; filaments filiform. Ovary semi-inferior, pubescent, 4- or 5-loculed, free to middle from hypanthium in fruit; styles 4 or 5, connate high above middle; stigmas capitate; ovules 2 per locule, basal, collateral, ascending. Fruit a pome, ovoid to subglobose, fleshy, with persistent sepals; carpel crustaceous; locules abaxially loculicidally dehiscent; seeds oblong, compressed, testa leathery; cotyledons nearly flat.
This treatment follows that of the FRPS. Alternatively, there is considerable evidence that Stranvaesia should be included within Photinia (Kalkman, Blumea 21: 413–442.1973; Iketani & Ohashi, J. Jap. Bot. 66: 319–351. 1991; Ohashi & Iketani, J. Jap. Bot. 69: 22–23. 1994; Phipps et al., Syst. Bot. 16: 303–332. 1991; Robertson et al., Syst. Bot. 16: 376–394. 1991; Rohrer et al., Amer. J. Bot. 78: 1617–1635. 1991; Rohrer et al., Amer. J. Bot. 81: 574–581. 1994). Basically, all of these point out that the primary character often used to differentiate the two genera, i.e., whether the carpels dehisce or not, is “artificial.” Kalkman (loc. cit.) was the first recent author to note that the supposedly dehiscent carpels of Stranvaesia are an artifact of pressing herbarium specimens. Also, Rohrer et al. (loc. cit.) found that Photinia and Stranvaesia do not differ in connation of the carpels or in the adnation of the carpels to the hypanthium.
About six species: China and Himalayas to SE Asia; five species (two endemic) China.
(Authors: Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Stephen A. Spongberg)