Toyon flowers
Cupaniopsis anacarodioides

This is a california native that is perfectly suited to the central coast climate. Toyon is not really a tree; really more of a large shrub. But, over time, in the right location, it wil reach tree like proportions. Toyon is slow growing and likes the company of other natives like oaks, ceanothus and coffeeberry. Leathery serrated evergreen leaves, creamy white flowers followed by bright red berries describe this plant. Also called Christmas Berry, the flowers feed many native pollinators and the winter berries feed many birds.

This shrub can tolerate coastal sand and drought after establishment. Toyon can make a useful screening plant or can be shaped onto a single trunked "tree." Toyon is noted to be susceptible to fireblight and root pathogens which are generally linked to overwatering or poor drainage. It also can attract insects such as thrips, scale, aphids, mealybug and white fly. Location and culture may have significant effect on these issues as this author has not noted any of these problems in the 20 year old Toyon growing happily out back.

Maximum height
10+ feet
8+ feet wide

Life Span
50+ years

Criteria for Ranking

1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 5
Wind Tolerance 4*
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity

Cost/Maintenance 5
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 3**
*note asterisk denote species will be shaped by a prevailing wind. Single trunk trained trees need more protection than multi-trunk to grow tall and dtraight. This is a naturally a multi-trunked shrub..
**note asterisk denotes that Toyon can be affected by some damaging insects, and, fireblight and soil born pathogens.
Location Fort Ord has many Toyon shrubs out among the chaparral oak woodlands recieving no care what so ever. Food for thought.