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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii
Prunus ilicifolia (Nutt. ex Hook. & Arn.) D. Dietr. ssp. lyonii (Eastw.) P.H. Raven
Hollyleaf cherry, Catalina Cherry
Synonym(s): Prunus lyonii
USDA Symbol: PRILL
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Evergreen tree with broad crown of spreading branches, glossy leaves, and dark purple cherries.
Planted as an evergreen, ornamental, and hedge plant in California, Catalina Cherry grows rapidly and is drought-resistant. Native Americans ate the fresh and dried cherries, which can also be made into jam; birds are also fond of the fruit. It is currently considered an island subspecies of the Hollyleaf Cherry, which is usually smaller and shrubby and has smaller, rounded, spiny-toothed leaves, fewer flowers, and smaller fruit.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: CA Native Distribution:
Channel Islands of California; also reported in Baja California; to 3000 (914 m). Native Habitat:
Moist soils of canyons and on dry ridges; in chaparral.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Birds are fond of the fruit. Use Food: Native
Americans ate the fresh and dried cherries, which can also be made into jam. Warning:
The seeds of all Prunus species, found inside the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable be Conspicuous Flowers:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff