Rhamnus ilicifolia

Hollyleaf redberry

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 6' X 4'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



Hollyleaf redberry grows in mountainous regions throughout California and beyond. In the SF Bay Area it is most common in the Diablo Range but also occurs sparsely in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Its form is rounded or vase shaped, usually up to about six feet. The evergreen leaves are oval with serrated margins (ilicifolia means that the leaves are like a holly). These grow densely over reddish gray bark. In many ways hollyleaf redberry looks like a miniature hollyleaf cherry, Prunus ilicifolia, or perhaps a small scrub oak, Quercus durata. The fruit, however, shows that this is indeed a redberry. In early summer this shrub is covered with small luminescent red fruit that are relished by birds. The fruit is said to taste like a combination of cherry and cinnamon. It is certainly one of the better tasting wild berries. Plant hollyleaf redberry in a sunny spot with fairly well-draining soil. It is best to provide no supplemental water once the plant is established.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen