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Comarostaphylis diversifolia (photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic)
Comarostaphylis diversifolia (photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic)

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Zone
Zones 7-9, 14-24
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Comarostaphylis diversifolia

Summer Holly
Ericaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Native to coastal Southern California and Baja California, this rather formal plant grows to 6–18 ft. high and 4–8 ft. wide. Its leathery, 1–3-in.-long leaves are shiny dark green above, white and hairy beneath, with in-rolled margins. (Variety C. d. planifolia has flat leaves.) Small, white, bell-shaped flowers appear in spring, followed by clusters of red, warty berries similar to those of madrone (Arbutus menziesii).

Needs little pruning, but some thinning improves appearance. Water occasionally outside of its native coastal range.

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