Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, deciduous or evergreen. Winter buds small; scales imbricate, few. Leaves alternate, simple, papery or leathery, venation camptodromous, margin serrate, rarely entire, shortly petiolate; stipules present, usually subulate. Inflorescences terminal, umbellate or corymbose, rarely shortly paniculate, many flowered, sometimes flowers 2- or 3-clustered or solitary. Hypanthium cupular or campanulate to cylindric, adnate to ovary or free near apex. Sepals 5, persistent, short. Petals 5, contorted or imbricate in bud, base clawed. Stamens usually ca. 20. Carpels 2–5, rarely 1; ovary semi-inferior, (1 or)2–5-loculed, in fruit free apically or to 1/3 length; styles(1 or)2–5, free or ± connate, short, dilated apically; stigmas truncate; ovules 2 per locule, erect. Fruit a pome, globose, ovoid, or ellipsoid, somewhat fleshy, (1- or)2–5-loculed, free from calyx only near apex or to 1/3 length, with persistent, incurved sepals; carpel crustaceous or membranous, each locule 1- or 2-seeded; seeds erect, testa leathery; cotyledons plano-convex.
Wu Zhengyi (editor's note) believes that Pourthiaea is morphologically distinct from Photinia and should be treated as a separate genus.
Many species of Photinia are ornamental trees and shrubs with large lustrous leaves and attractive white flowers in the spring followed by red fruits in the autumn. The wood is hard and heavy, suitable for making furniture and other small articles.
About 60 species: E, S, and SE Asia, also in Mexico; 43 species (32 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Lu Lingdi (Lu Ling-ti); Stephen A. Spongberg)