Heteromeles arbutifolia



Plant of the Month

Heteromeles arbutifolia
Photos: Rachel Cobb


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Common Name: Toyon, Christmas Berry, California Holly

Origin: California

Features/Uses: Toyon is one of California’s botanical treasures, famed for it’s bright red fruits from late fall through winter, including the holiday season. The attractive glossy, evergreen leaves have holly-like leaf margins. In addition, showy clusters of small white flowers bloom in early summer.

Hollywood reputedly got its name for the numerous California hollies growing in the area.

These large, dense evergreen shrubs are wonderful as screens or background plants.

Growth habit: Large dense shrub, slowly growing up to 8-15’ tall

Bloom Time: Early summer

Cultural Requirements: well-drained soils, once the plants are established after 1-2 years they don’t require additional water although supplemental water in the winter and spring is good and will increase growth rates if there isn’t very much rainfall. During the summer and early fall watering deeply once a month will improve appearance (and increase fire resistance).

Where in the Garden: California Gardenscapes, Fire Safety, Native Plants, Native Peoples

SDBG Plant List

Also see the full Plant of the Month list

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