Catalina Cherry

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii


The Catalina cherry grows into a large evergreen shrub to low branching tree, capable of reaching 25-30 ft. tall, spreading 6-20 ft. wide. Its dark glossy green leaves grow 3-5 in. long; attractive spikes of creamy-white flowers grow in spring. Numerous red berry-like fruits with large seeds are produced in summer and mature to black and are valued by wildlife.

This subspecies of the native cherry is native to coastal areas and to the Channel Islands of southern California and Baja California. It is a handsome foliage plant that is mostly planted to become a tall screen plant or small tree on slopes and background areas in residential gardens. It combines well with many California natives and adapts to partial shade with low amounts of summer water.

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Low-branching, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Moist soil, Deep soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Drought, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Screening, Restoration, Parks and open space, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Attracts butterflies
Height: 25 ft. – 30 ft.
Width: 6 ft. – 25 ft.