Heteromeles arbutifolia


Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 12' X 8'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



Toyon is the emblematic shrub in many plant communities around the state. It is especially common at mid-elevations in the coastal mountains of central and northern California. In more southerly settings it seems often displaced by sugar bush, Rhus ovata, and lemonade berry, Rhus integrifolia. Toyon grows in a round, open form but can develop into a small tree with age. The leaves are dark with serrated edges. Toyon is also called Christmas berry for the red berries that are abundantly displayed in the late fall and early winter. These seem to mature in mid-winter, at which time they are relished by Robins and other birds. Toyon seems to appreciate an open setting with good air flow, so it is best planted as a specimen rather than as a member of a thicket or hedge. In both wild and domestic settings, Toyon is relatively vulnerable to disease, so care should be taken to protect against infection (e.g. only prune with sterile equipment).


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen