A handsome evergreen shrub with small, dark green, leathery, serrated leaves. Found in the foothills and mountains of southern and central California, the Sierras and west of the Sacramento Valley up to 3,500 feet. Slow-growing, reaching 6-10 feet tall and wide, with a somewhat open, upright habit. Male and female plants are separate, producing inconspicuous yellow-cream flowers from spring into early summer. Female plants produce sporadic, gelatinous red fruits. Hollyleaf redberry can be planted in full sun to shade, but prefers a bit of relief from the afternoon sun in inland sites. It requires decent drainage and is drought-tolerant once established. Larval host for the pale swallowtail butterfly. Reportedly deer resistant.
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