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Plantidote of the Day 2013-01-18

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toyon

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Toyon, California holly, Christmasberry

I'm not 100% certain that this is California holly, so feel free to correct that if it's wrong. If it is holly, this is an excellent plant for water conservation. The one in the photograph is in a wilderness area where it gets no care whatsoever. Apparently, it likes that! As you can see, the plant is loaded with berries that birds and bees -- and possibly other little critters -- love. In the springtime, the bush will be covered with white blossoms. California holly can be grown in Zones 7 through 10. Here are the growing details. Bonus trivia: The name Hollywood may have come from these plants, which grow all over the Hollywood Hills, among other places.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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