Red berries

Scientific Name

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Full Sun

Part Sun

Part Shade


Max. Height × Width

6–25 feet × 10–15 feet

More information

Price & Availability

Forestry pot 14 inch


Not available

The “Official Plant” of Los Angeles since 2012 (a faintly ridiculous but otherwise honorable distinction), Heteromeles arbutifolia, or Toyon, is the ultimate, local native workhorse. Even when most native plants once common in the foothill/canyon neighborhoods of Los Angeles have long since vanished, you can still find a stray Toyon here and there, a tough, evergreen perennial flourishing inconspicuously among the imported Oleanders and Chinese Elms.

Toyon is happy in full sun to part shade, but will go a little leggy with less sunlight. It needs little to no supplemental water once established, but tolerates typical “garden conditions,” i.e., it will obligingly coexist with exotic landscaping plants that require more irrigation. While exhibiting a somewhat moderate growth rate at first, this plant can reach towering heights in a relatively short period of time, making it a great choice for a screen or informal hedge.

Birds go absolutely nuts for the red, waxy berries when they ripen in early winter. Each year, a flock of Cedar Waxwings descends on the Toyons  in the LANPS garden, denuding them to the last berry over the course of a day or two. It is a joy to behold.

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Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum


Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

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Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus

Branching Phacelia

Phacelia ramosissima

Brickell Bush

Brickellia californica

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

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California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

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Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

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Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

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Coast Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

Coast Prickly Pear

Opuntia littoralis

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Frangula californica

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Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

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Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

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Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

Longstem Buckwheat

Eriogonum elongatum

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Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

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Poison Oak

Toxicodendron diversilobum

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Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae


Claytonia perfoliata

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Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

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Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

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Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

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Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

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Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

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Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

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Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

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Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum


Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

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Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

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Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope