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Vibrant, Berried Broadleaved Evergreen with Real Star Quality!

Even if you think that you’ve never heard of the beautiful California native shrub Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), you have. Maybe you actually haven’t heard the name Toyon, but you are very familiar with the industry named after it.

The story goes that in the late 1800’s H.J. Whitley named a new neighborhood he was building in the Los Angeles area from the nearby Holly Canyon, which was named for the Toyon plant and its holly-like winter berries. The new neighborhood’s name? Hollywoodland. A decade later, in 1911, the first Hollywood studio opened and an American industry was born.

Ralph Cornell, a pioneering Landscape Architect in California wrote this about Toyon in his book Conspicuous California Plants in 1938, “Any plant that encourages bird life, supplies the bees with an unexcelled source of honey, gives food to man, furnishes tannin from its bark, protects arid slopes from erosion, paints the landscape with vivid colors and carries joy into the home at Christmas time, when no other berries are available to most Californians, surely deserves the protection of man, whom it serves so well.”

Toyon (also known as California Holly and Christmas Berry) is a California native evergreen shrub that grow into a dense 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide drought-resistant shrub. It can be pruned into a small tree or sheared into a semi-formal hedge. Covered in leathery leaves all year, it blooms pretty, but unspectacular, white flowers in summer. In the winter, though, when other plants are sleeping, Toyon is covered in vibrant – and we mean vibrant – red berries. If you can get to them before the birds do they make beautiful and rustic Christmas decorations.

If you live on the West Coast, Toyon is a great addition to your landscape. We agree with Cornell – Toyon ‘surely deserves’ to be in your garden. Order yours today!

* California Native
* Drought-tolerant
* Evergreen
* Summer Flowers
* Spectacular Red Winter Berries
* Wildlife and Pollinators Love


Toyon Is Suited to Grow in Zones 9-11
Growing Zones 9-11
More Information
Brand Nature Hills Nursery
Botanical Name Heteromeles arbutifolia
Foliage Broadleaved Evergreen
Mature Height 8 - 10 feet
Mature Spread 6 - 8 feet
Soil Type Well Drained Soil
Moisture Medium to Low Moisture
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Green
Fruiting Time Red Fruit in the Fall and Winter