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California Shrub: Toyon or California Christmas Berry

Toyon or California Christmas Berry

  • Rose Family
  • Evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 6 or 8 feet high.
  • Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and dark green and fine toothed.
  • Small white flowers appear in June or July.
  • Red berries appear by December….favorite food of robins, mockingbirds, and cedar waxwings!

This is a common shrub in our area and right now it is brilliant with red berries. I love seeing it along our walking trail and I realized this week that my dad has a whole patch of it on his hill. I am planning on going over there to take some photos later in the week which I will add to this entry.

I enjoyed this paragraph in my California Forests and Woodlands book:

“The wildlife of Foothill Woodland is often richest in the woods where the pines and oaks intermingle with California Buckeyes, a shrubby undergrowth of Buckbrush, California Coffeeberry, Toyon, and tangled vines of Wild Grape, Pipestems, and Western Poison Oak.”

This describes our habitat perfectly! I love learning about the interdependence of plants and animals…so very interesting. I need to add Coffeeberry and Wild Grape to my list of plants to study in the next year so look for entries in the future.

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