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Products > Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii
Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii - Catalina Cherry

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Origin: Channel Islands (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii]
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (Catalina Cherry) - A tightly branched large evergreen shrub or small tree that in cultivation it is often seen growing to 12- 25 feet but is able to attain 40 feet in habitat and older large tree-like specimens are often encountered in gardens. The apple-green leaves, ovate to 2-5 inches long, are broader and not as stiff or spiny as the Holly Leaf Cherry and sometimes with margins entire, lacking the spiny serrations typical of Holly Leaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia). The white flower clusters, borne in racemes to 2-5 inches long in late spring, are twice as long as the species. Black fruits are attractive to birds. Plant in full or part sun. A drought tolerant summer dry native plant that is a bit slow to establish but then grows fairly fast, particularly if given supplemental irrigation which it tolerates well. It is cold hardy to at least 20 F and resistant to Oak Root Fungus (Armillaria mellea) and any fire blight infection, so common in plants in the rose family, can often be controlled by judicious pruning. A great plant for use as a tall dense screen planting or as a foundation plant for use against a building. Can be formally sheared. This plant is native to four of the Channel Islands off the coast of California, including San Clemente Island, Santa Catalina Island, Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island and also further to the south on the Baja California mainland. The name for the genus in an adapted name that Linnaeus used from the Latin name for the plum tree in his in Hortus Cliffortianus. The specific epithet references the resemblance of the species leaves to those of the holly, Ilex. The subspecies name honors William Scrugham Lyon (1851-1916), an early resident of Los Angeles and California's first State Forester and who collected native plants with fellow California plantsman the Rev. Joseph Cook Nevin, for whom Berberis nevinii is named. Nevin and Lyon collected plants on the Channel Islands as in 1884 and 1885 and Lyon later published an article about island flora titled "Flora of Our Southwestern Archipelago" in 1886 in the Botanical Gazette. Lyon also was involved in several nurseries and in 1897 published a book titled Gardening in California, considered to be the first book written specifically on gardening in the region.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery and our own landscape plantings and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments we receive from others and appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii