Catalina Cherry

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

  • Size:

    Height: 30'; Spread: 20' in San Francisco

  • Growth:

    Moderate

  • Character:

    Evergreen; upright, rounded crown.

  • Foliage:

    Glossy green, 3-5", narrowly ovate leaves. May have undulated margins.

  • Flower:

    4-6" raceme of 1/4" white flowers.

  • Fruit:

    Dark purple, round, 1" drupe in summer. Edible.

  • Bark:

    Dark gray, furrowed.

  • Watering:

    In general, 15-20 gallons per week for the first 2 years; 15-20 gallons twice a month for the 3rd year; as needed after 3 years (varies by soil, sun, and wind conditions).

  • Tree Care:

    Low. Early pruning needed to establish and maintain a central leader, and to develop good branch structure; pruning needed less frequently with age.

  • Tolerance:

    Drought (once established), loam or sandy soil, shade, coastal conditions, high winds.

  • Special Considerations:

    Can be grown as a shrub. Fruit litter. Susceptible to aphids, scale, and sooty mold.

  • Notable Traits:

    California native (Channel Islands). Often hybridizes with Prunus ilicifolia in native habitat.