Rio Hondo River Trail - Garvey Ave Connector

Hollyleaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia)

Prunus ilicifolia

Prunus ilicifolia, hollyleaf cherry or evergreen cherry, is native to the chaparral areas of coastal California (from Mendocino County to San Diego County), Baja California, and Baja California Sur as well as the desert chaparral areas of the Mojave desert. It is the only species of the genus Prunus native to the Santa Monica Mountains that divide the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley, California.

Prunus ilicifolia is an evergreen shrub to tree, producing edible cherries, with shiny and spiny toothed leaves similar in appearance to those of holly. This resemblance is the source of both the common name hollyleaf cherry and its scientific name ilicifolia (Ilex-leaved, Ilex is the holly genus).

Hollyleaf cherry is prized for cultivation because it is showy and easily grown from seed. It likes full sun, loose open soil (porous), and tolerates drought conditions well. It also attracts bees when flowering.


Image: No machine-readable author provided. NoahElhardt assumed (based on copyright claims), via Wikimedia Commons.