Heteromeles arbutifolia
Common name: 
California Holly
het-er-o-MAY-leez ar-bu-ti-FO-li-ah
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree, freely branched, short trunk, rounded crown, usually to 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m) high.  Leaves evergreen, simple, alternate, blade leathery, glossy dark-green, dull and paler below elliptical to oblong, 5-10 cm long, margin regularly toothed and bristly pointed; petiole 12-25 mm long.   Flowers white, sepals and petals generally 5 each, bisexual, many per terminal, flat-topped clusters.  Fruit (pome) berry-like, when ripe 5-10 mm diam., bright red, pulp mealy, 3-6 small brown seeds.
  • Full sun or very light shade, tolerates afternoon sun, needs good drainage, infrequent summer water.   It is very showy in winter with evergreen leaves and abundant red fruit and is popular for Christmas decorations.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7     Native to California and Baja California; a common shrub in California's chaparrals and woodlands.
  • Toyon: derived from an Ohlone word for the plant.  Ohlone are the native people of the central California coast.
  • arbutifolia: having leaves like Arbutus
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaves and young fruit

    leaves and young fruit

  • young fruit and leaves

    young fruit and leaves

  • leaf


  • plant habit, winter fruiting

    plant habit, winter fruiting

  • fruit and leaves, winter

    fruit and leaves, winter