Heteromeles arbutifolia
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Heteromeles arbutifolia

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Common name: Toyon
Special Notes: This evergreen shrub to small tree is sometimes called the “Christmas Berry” due to the bright red berries in winter.  Berries are edible to humans, but very acidic and can be harmful if too many are eaten raw (cyanide compounds). Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers and birds to the fruit. 
Family: Rosaceae
Native to: California
Form: Perennial shrub-small tree. Deer will eat the new foliage.
Size: Usually grows to 10’H x 8’W but can get to 15’-20’ if old and happy
Blooms: Spring
Attracts: Butterflies, bees and birds
Flowers: Small white
Light: Full sun to light shade
Water: Drought tolerant once established, but can handle some water if good drainage
Hardiness:  0° F
Soil: Tolerates most soils, including clay