2202 S. Coast Highway Oceanside, CA 92054

Toyon is the Plant for the Holidays

Nature’s calendar doesn’t always agree with ours, but all around San Diego this December one could see bushes with holly-like leaves festooned with bright red berries. It’s the native toyon plant, sometimes called California holly. If you have a toyon in your yard, cut a few branches for dec-orations around the house or outside your windows. Toyon is part of our local Coastal Sage Scrub plant community. It is a very versatile small tree that can grow throughout the county. It can also be espaliered along a wall or sheared into a hedge, if that is your style. Many species of birds are attracted to the berries. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a few volunteer sprouts popping up around the yard from time-to-time. If they’re not growing in the best place, dig up the seedlings with plenty of soil and replant at least 3-5 feet away from any wall or building.

Early settlers in Los Angeles looked up at the toyon-covered hills and dubbed the area “Hollywood.” It was much later that it also became known as “Tinseltown,” another name that might evoke images of the holiday season.

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