Prunus ilicifolia
Common name: 
Hollyleaf Cherry
Holly-leaved Cherry
PRU-nus i-lis-i-FO-li-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen multi-stemmed shrub or a tree on favorable sites, dense, shrubs 3-25 ft (~ 0.9-7.5 m) tall, trees my reach 50 ft (15 m) or more, twigs gray or reddish brown.  Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to round, thick and leathery, 2.5-7.5 cm long, margin entire or spine-tipped hollylike teeth, base truncate to cordate, tip acute to rounded, shiny dark green above and paler below.  Flowers bisexual, white, about 6 mm across, in long clusters (racemes) up to 5 cm in length.  Fruit red to blue-black when ripe, occasionally yellow, ovoid to spherical, about 1-2.5 cm, without hairs (glabrous), pulp fleshy, sweet, over a hard, smooth seed.
  • Sun or part shade, good-drainage, may need some summer irrigation.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 9.  Native to California (southern North Coast Ranges, central Western and southwestern California) and Baja California.  Two subspecies are recognized:
    • Prunus ilicifolia subsp. ilicifolia  -  found on the mainland, leaf blade often wavy, margin generally spiny, fruit 12-18 mm, generally red.
    • Prunus ilicifolia subsp. lyonii  -  found on the Channel Islands of California, leaf blade flat, margin generally entire, fruit 15-25 mm, generally blue-black.
  • ilicifolia: Ilex- or holly-leaved
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, sunny site

    plant habit, sunny site

  • leaves, sunny site

    leaves, sunny site

  • plant habit, shady site

    plant habit, shady site

  • leaves, shady site

    leaves, shady site

  • leaf, shady site

    leaf, shady site