Plant of the Month – December 2014

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Hollyleaf Cherry

Hollyleaf Cherry can be trained into an attractive tree, sculpted into a hedge, or left in its natural form for evergreen beauty. It's edible summer cherries are a magnet for songbirds.

Hollyleaf Cherry can be trained into an attractive tree, sculpted into a hedge, or left in its natural form for evergreen beauty. It’s edible summer cherries are a magnet for songbirds.


Prunus ilicifolia

 

  • Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub to Small Tree
  • Water Use: Very Low
  • Mature Size: 7-18’ tall x 10’ wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Bloom Time: Peak bloom Spring (Mar – May)
  • Native to: Western California south to Baja California below 5,000 feet
  • Hardiness: Cold Hardy to 0°F

 

Hollyleaf Cherry is a tightly-branched, long-lived, evergreen, shrub with lush, deep green, glossy leaves that have an almond-like scent when crushed. White flower clusters in spring produce dark red cherries in summer that are a favorite of songbirds. This easy-to-grow plant can be trained into an attractive tree, or sculpted into a variety of shapes and uses. Hollyleaf Cherry is ideal for screens, hedges, windbreaks, firebreaks, for erosion control on slopes, or as a specimen plant. While slow-growing the first few years, it reaches moderate to rapid growth after established. Although this cherry relative bears its flowers in spring and fruit in summer, we couldn’t resist featuring this beautiful shrub in winter, as its holly-like foliage is a favorite for Christmas wreaths and holiday decorations.

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