Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

What's that plant? Toyon!

Toyon - Heteromeles arbutifolia

Toyon is a California native evergreen shrub that typically grows up to 8' tall and 5' wide, occasionally growing taller and forming a small tree as it ages. It has leathery, toothed, green leaves and small, white, fragrant flowers that appear in late spring or early summer. These flowers are followed by clusters of scarlet red winter berries that are loved by birds. Toyon is an extremely tough and variable plant. It tolerates full sun, part shade, heat, smog, wind, and heavy or light soils. As an added bonus, established plants are drought tolerant. Toyon may take several years to become established, but after that it’s great for erosion control and as an evergreen backdrop. Prune a little bit all year long if desired or wait till August or September for a heavier prune.

Toyon shrub
Toyon berry clusters

Toyon berry closeup
Toyon flowers

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