california native flora

a drought tolerant patio garden of mostly natives

Toyon Journal

Heteromeles Arbutifolia – Toyon

June 5, 2011. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Original nursery specimen. Almost 2 years old.
Click Image To Enlarge

Heteromeles Arbutifolia is a large native chaparral shrub that grows throughout California. Sometimes known as California Holly, it used to be abundant in the hills to the north of Los Angeles and some speculate this is why the city of Hollywood got it’s name. Toyon is the name given to the shrub by Native Americans who used it in food and medicine.

Toyon is a fast growing shrub that can be trained as a multi-trunked tree. The berries are toxic as they contain a compound found in cyanide. Although it is only a small amount of toxin, if you come across a large barrel full of Toyon berries you probably shouldn’t eat them all.

This plant is evergreen and grows best in full sun although it will also grow in full shade. It can grow to about 8′ tall and beyond if the conditions are just right. This is a great plant in a wildlife garden – butterflies like the small white flowers and songbirds love the berries in winter.

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Plant Meta Data

Common NameToyon
Botanic NameHeteromeles Arbutifolia
OriginCalifornia
Bloom PeriodSummer
Bloom Color
Light RequiredSun
Water ToleranceDrought
Potential Size (H x W)8' x 8'
NotesAttracts ButterfliesAttracts Songbirds

Gallery

Click image to enlarge

June 5, 2011. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Original nursery specimen. Almost 2 years old.June 5, 2011. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. New 1 gal specimen for East wall screen.August 1, 2010. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Nursery specimen, getting tall!April 20, 2010. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Seed grown specimen.April 10, 2010. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Seed grown specimen, transplanted.Jan 10, 2010. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Seed grown specimen, 5 months since germination.Jan 10, 2010. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Nursery specimen.Nov 8, 2009. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Seed grown specimenNov 8, 2009. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Nursery specimen.Aug 9, 2009. - Toyon - Heteromeles Arbutifolia. Nursery specimen.