Prunus ilicifolia Rosaceae
Hollyleaf Cherry, Holly-leaved Cherry
- Broadleaf evergreen multi-stemmed shrub or a tree on favorable sites, dense, shrubs 3-25 ft (~ 0.9-7.5 m) tall, trees my reach 50 ft (15 m) or more, twigs gray or reddish brown. Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to round, thick and leathery, 2.5-7.5 cm long, margin entire or spine-tipped hollylike teeth, base truncate to cordate, tip acute to rounded, shiny dark green above and paler below. Flowers bisexual, white, about 6 mm across, in long clusters (racemes) up to 5 cm in length. Fruit red to blue-black when ripe, occasionally yellow, ovoid to spherical, about 1-2.5 cm, without hairs (glabrous), pulp fleshy, sweet, over a hard, smooth seed.
- Sun or part shade, good-drainage, may need some summer irrigation.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 9. Native to California (southern North Coast Ranges, central Western and southwestern California) and Baja California. Two subspecies are recognized:
- Prunus ilicifolia subsp. ilicifolia - found on the mainland, leaf blade often wavy, margin generally spiny, fruit 12-18 mm, generally red.
- Prunus ilicifolia subsp. lyonii - found on the Channel Islands of California, leaf blade flat, margin generally entire, fruit 15-25 mm, generally blue-black.
- ilicifolia: Ilex- or holly-leaved