Heteromeles Arbutifolia


Common Names: Christmas Berry, Toyon


Family: Rosaceae

Origin: California

Type: Evergreen shrub or tree

Size: 15 to 25 ft. high and wide.

Flowers: Small white flowers, summer, bright red berries fall, winter; leaves glossy dark green with small teeth on edges.

Uses: Screen, background, ornamental, erosion control on slopes, near oaks, in heat. Fire resistive.

Wildlife: Berries & flowers for birds, bees, butterflies. Deer resistant.

Soil: Prefers well-drained soil; grows on dry ridges, slopes, and canyons.

Water: Medium, but tolerates drought.

Sun: Full sun to some shade.

Pruning: Produces more berries if trimmed to provide more year-old wood. Prune to develop multiple-branching.

Pests & Diseases: Fireblight, scales, thrips, Sudden Oak Death, root rot. 

Notes: Heteromeles arbutifolia macrocarpa, from California’s Channel Islands, has larger berries. Common member of the chaparral in California. Hardy to 10° F.