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Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)
Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)

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Zones 14-17, 19-24
Full Sun
Regular Water

Lyonothamnus floribundus

Catalina Ironwood
Evergreen, Trees

Native to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. The species has lobed or scallop-edged leaves; it is seldom seen in cultivation. Much better known is L. f. asplenifolius, fernleaf Catalina ironwood. It grows at a moderate rate to 20–35 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide. Red-brown bark peels off in long, thin strips; young twigs are often reddish. Leaves are deep green above, gray and hairy beneath, divided into three to seven deeply notched or lobed leaflets. Blooms in late spring or early summer, bearing small white blossoms in flat, 8–18-in.-wide clusters that contrast well with the dark foliage. Old clusters turn brown; if it is practical to do so, cut them off.

Needs excellent drainage and should be pruned in winter to shape and control growth. Sometimes suffers from chlorosis in heavy soils. Easiest to grow near the coast. Handsome in groves.

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