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Rosaceae - California and Baja California, Mexico
Toyon, California Holly, Christmas Berry
Shown: Detail of mature, clustered fruit in late autumn
"Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia, (pronounced /ˌhɛtɨrɵˈmiːliːz ɑrˌbjuːtɨˈfoʊliə/; more commonly pronounced /hɛtəˈrɒməliːz/ by California botanists) is a common perennial shrub native to California, USA and the extreme northwest of Mexico, from northern California to northern Baja California. It is the sole species of Heteromeles, but is closely related to the Asian genus Photinia, in which it is included by some botanists (it was originally described in that genus).
"Toyon is a prominent component of the coastal sage scrub plant community, and is a part of drought-adapted chaparral and mixed oak woodland habitats. It is also known by the common names Christmas berry and California holly.
"Toyon typically grows from 2-5 m (rarely up 10 m in shaded conditions) and has a rounded to irregular top. Its leaves are evergreen, alternate, sharply toothed, have short petioles, and are 5-10 cm in length and 2-4 cm wide. In the early summer it produces small white flowers 6-10 mm diameter, in dense terminal corymbs. The five petals are rounded. They are visited by butterflies, and have a mild, hawthorn-like scent. The fruit is a small pome, 5-10 mm across, bright red and berry-like, produced in large quantities, maturing in the fall and persisting well into the winter. The fruit are consumed by birds, including mockingbirds, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, as well as mammals including coyote and bear. The seeds are dispersed by such wildlife." (Wikipedia)
Photographed in U.C. Botanical Garden at Berkeley - Berkeley, California