Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia

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Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia fruit

Species Name: Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia
Common Name: Holly-leaf Cherry

Tought and adaptable. Makes a good drought-tolerant hedge. Can be trained into a small tree. Reliable evergreen landscape plant. Excellent wildlife value.

Plant Family: Rosaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 15' H x 15' W
Growth Habit: Shrub or small tree
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Slow to establish, then fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Winter
Flower Color: White
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: North Coast Range, Central Western CA, Southwestern CA, Baja
Natural Habitat: Canyons, slopes, shrubland, woodland below 4,800'

Songbird iconA.jpg Butterfly iconA.jpg Slope iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance

  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Of all our native shrubs, there is none more beautiful than this wild cherry with its rich, deep green holly-like foliage and sprays of white flowers. Of dense spreading habit and fairly rapid growth, it is extremely hardy, standing both heat and cold. It is not at all particular about soil and will thrive without any water other than the natural rainfall after once becoming established. At the same time it will stand ordinary garden culture. It likes a sunny location but will grow well in the shade. There is no end to the places where this shrub can be used effectively. For foundation planting against a building or wall. As single specimen plants for for mass plantings. For screen plantings or for covering banks and hillsides. It makes the most beautiful hedge allowed to grow informally or trimmed, while for decorating purposes the cut sprays have no equal. Gallon cans, 40c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.