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Prunus ilicifolia

Evergreen, Shrubs


This rich genus includes everything from English laurel to flowering apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums. (For edible varieties, see individual listings for apricot, cherry, peach, plum, and plum hybridss.)

Ornamental species and forms can be divided into two categories: evergreen and deciduous. Evergreen types are used chiefly as hedges, screens, shade trees, street trees. Deciduous flowering trees and shrubs, closely related to the fruit trees mentioned above, are valued for their winter or spring floral display as well as for attractive shape and for foliage form, texture, and sometimes even fall color. Many of these deciduous kinds offer a bonus of edible fruit.

Prunus ilicifolia

Native to coastal Southern California. The two similar forms described below are both useful as small trees, screens, or medium-size to tall clipped hedges. They often hybridize when growing near each other, producing plants with intermediate characteristics. Avoid planting near paved surfaces or parking areas, since fallen fruit causes stains. Both plants have unusually high resistance to oak root fungus, and both need good drainage. Can take extreme drought, but look best with occasional deep soakings.

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