Rhaphiolepis umbellata

Rhaphiolepis / sexton's bride

Family: Rosaceae

Origin: Asia

Close up of sexton's bride flowers.
Introduced from Asia, Sexton's Bride has small thick leaves on reddish/ brown stems. At stem ends small clusters of white flowers form from winter to early summer.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Aotea — Eradication
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial shrub < 3 m tall. Flowers are white with pink/red stamens and sepals and are borne in inflorescences in July – December. Fruit is fleshy, dark purple/black and ripens in March – April.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell rhaphiolepis/sexton's bride within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant rhaphiolepis/sexton's bride within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any rhaphiolepis/sexton's bride on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Auckland Council will control rhaphiolepis/sexton’s bride at all sites within the Aotea/Great Barrier Island group where it is known to occur.

If you see rhaphiolepis/sexton’s bride anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.


Coastal urban and cliff habitats, roadsides, cemeteries, hedgerows, gardens.


Seeds dispersed by birds.

Impact on environment

Displaces native vegetation in coastal areas.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of seedlings with glyphosate gel. Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Sextons bride leaves.
A perennial shrub that grows up to 3m tall. A favourite hedging plant due to its attractive leaves and easy care growth.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow