Rhaphiolepis indica Varieties: Oriental Pearl vs Snow Maiden

All Rhaphiolepis varieties are very easy to care for. Once established, they’re both drought and frost-hardy.

Rhaphiolepsis indica or Indian Hawthorn is a hardy plant that flowers from autumn through to spring.

It’s incredibly low-maintenance and perfect for use as a hedging or screening plant.

There are many cultivars of the Indian Hawthorn species. In this article, we’re going to compare ‘Oriental Pearl’ and ‘Snow Maiden’ along with a couple of other popular varieties.

Indian Hawthorn ‘Oriental Pearl’

The ‘Oriental Pearl’ variety grows to a height of around 1 metre with a spread of 1 metre. This makes it ideal as a hedging plant.

It has glossy green pointed leaves and pretty white flowers that exhibit pink stamens.


  • Will grow in full sun or part shade
  • Has fragrant flowers in autumn, winter, and spring
  • Drought, salt and frost-tolerant
  • Produces blue berries in summer
  • Suitable for coastal gardens
  • Can be grown in pots
  • Attracts bees and birds


  • Slow-growing

Indian Hawthorn ‘Snow Maiden’

‘Snow Maiden’ is a dwarf form of Indian Hawthorn and it only grows to a height of around 0.7 metres with a spread of about 0.5 metres.

It has smaller leaves than the other varieties and pure white flowers. This variety is ideal for planting as a small hedge around garden beds or in large pots as a feature plant.


  • Grows in full sun or part shade
  • Suitable for coastal gardens
  • It only requires moderate water
  • Can be grown in pots
  • Fragranced flowers in winter and spring
  • Has blue-black berries in spring
  • Drought, salt, wind, and frost-tolerant
  • Attracts bees and birds


  • Only grows to a height of around 0.7 metres

Oriental Pearl vs Snow Maiden

There are only subtle differences between these two varieties. While ‘Oriental Pearl’ can reach a height of 1 metre, ‘Snow Maiden’, being a dwarf variety, will only reach a height of around 70 cm.

‘Snow Maiden’ also has smaller leaves than ‘Oriental Pearl’ and its flowers are pure white without the distinctive pink stamen that other forms of Indian Hawthorn have.

In all other ways, these two varieties are very similar. They’re both extremely hardy, drought and frost-tolerant, and will grow happily in full sun or part shade.

Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica Alba)

This is another popular Indian Hawthorn variety. It features glossy dark green leaves and pretty white star-shaped flowers.

This particular variety prefers to grow in full sun and can reach a height of around 2.5 metres. It will also spread to around 2 metres wide.

If you’re looking for a taller screening plant, then this is definitely one to consider. 

Cosmic White (Rhaphiolepis indica ‘RAPH01’ PBR)

‘Cosmic White’ is another cultivar of the Indian Hawthorn species. It’s considered one of the hardiest plants and rarely develops seeds.

This makes it ideal if you live near bushland areas because it’s unlikely to become invasive and spread into natural habitats.

This variety can grow to a height of around 2 metres and is disease-resistant. It produces masses of white flowers in spring.

The flowers are larger than other varieties of Indian Hawthorn.

How to care for Rhaphiolepis indica

All Rhaphiolepis varieties are very easy to care for. Once established, these flowering hedge plants are both drought and frost-hardy.

Rhaphiolepis indica 2 | Plant varieties

You only need to give the plant a little supplemental watering while it’s still young or during very hot, dry spells.

A single application of slow-release fertiliser in spring will keep the plant happily growing throughout the year.

The only other thing you have to do is give it a prune after flowering to make the plant bushier and to maintain the shape that you want.

Rhaphiolepis indica FAQ

Is Oriental Pearl fast-growing?

No, ‘Oriental Pearl’ is fairly slow-growing but this has the advantage of requiring minimal maintenance.

How tall does Snow Maiden grow?

This dwarf variety only grows to a height of around 0.7 metres or 70 cm.

How long do Snow Maidens take to grow?

The growth rate of ‘Snow Maiden’ is considered slow to moderate.

Is Rhaphiolepis frost hardy?

Yes, Indian Hawthorn is frost-tolerant and will grow in a wide range of temperatures.

Is Rhaphiolepis drought tolerant?

Yes, once established, Rhaphiolepis is drought-tolerant and only requires water if the weather is hot and dry for an extended period of time.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


2 thoughts on “Rhaphiolepis indica Varieties: Oriental Pearl vs Snow Maiden”

  1. I have two Rhaphiolepis indica plants in my small garden, however my two plants are touching the gutter on our two story town house in Brisbane. So far I have no problems but they are very high and I am not sure how much harm they are making under the ground. I have half the area concreted and there has been no issue with the concrete etc. Is there someone you know that could come and have a look at it. I am happy to pay for someone’s thoughts on it and anybody that know the proper way of either trimming them or removing if that is the better option. Any thoughts and help would be very well accepted. Regards mobile 0412 707 396

    • Unfortunately, I don’t have any contacts for an aborist in Brisbane. I can tell you that the roots do go quite deep so they shouldn’t cause any surface damage. However, you might want to check with your local council to see whether this is regarded as an invasive species. Many, many years ago, I worked at the council nursery in Wynnum but I don’t know if it’s still there. If it is, you could go there to see if you can get some advice as I’m now located in Victoria. The other thing you can do is get onto a local Facebook community group to see if anyone can recommend an arborist in the area. That’s usually how I find local services.


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