Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

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Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii fruit

Species Name: Prunus illicifolia ssp. lyonii
Common Name: Catalina Cherry

Small tree with shiny green leaves. Edible fruit that are also favored by birds, wildlife. Tolerates garden care and watering.

Plant Family: Rosaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 10-40' H x 15' W
Growth Habit: Upright, tall
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Slow to establish, then fast
Sun Exposure: Sun or part shade
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 25 degrees F
Flower Season: April-May
Flower Color: White
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Channel Islands, Baja
Natural Habitat: Chaparral woodland below 2000'

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

Care and Maintenance

  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "From Catalina Island and the other islands off the coast of Southern California. Of taller and more rapid growth than [Prunus ilicifolia]. Large oval leaves of a rich green, the young foliage being a pleasing shade of apple green. Especially desirable where a tall dense screen planting is needed and for foundation planting against a building. It can be used very effectively in conjunction with the Holly-Leaved Cherry, using the latter where the lower effect is wanted and the Catalina Cherry where the taller growth is required. It stands ordinary garden culture quite well and is probably now planted more than any other native shrub. 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.