from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An evergreen Californian shrub (Heteromeles arbutifolia), having leathery leaves, small white flowers in large panicles, and red, fleshy, berrylike fruit. Also called Christmas berry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a chiefly Californian ornamental evergreen shrub (Heteromeles arbutifolia) of the rose family having white flowers succeeded by red berries

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Californian holly, Hetero-meles arbutifolia. Also tollon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. ornamental evergreen treelike shrub of the Pacific coast of the United States having large white flowers and red berrylike fruits; often placed in genus Photinia


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Spanish tollon, from Greek tolon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Spanish tollón.


  • Mexicans were born here, among the smoky bouquets of the toyon shrub, made love on hills of elderberry, honeysuckle, and fistfuls of lilac fiesta flowers, married each other by a ring of deodar cedars, grew old walking the long, open fields of sage scrub and giant wild rye, and died in ancient forests of pine and eucalyptus.

    The Madonnas of Echo Park

  • A ginko, and a California buckeye, to begin with, and in the back a bigleaf maple, a fig, and a toyon.

    readersguide Diary Entry

  • I had seen nothing on his face or clothes under that toyon tree to suggest a fight, or past fights.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • He was hanging from a low branch of a native toyon tree in Alameda Park, between an Australian red eucalyptus and a Canary Island palm.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • All lower branches had been cut from the toyon tree, leaving protrusions long enough for a determined person to get a foothold and climb the tree.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • I found a trash receptacle under the red eucalyptus, rolled it to the toyon, upended it, held onto the tree, and climbed on top.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • Luckily, there are four windows, also sort of quirky and irregular, and there are nice views out of all of them -- a toyon tree from one, a view of the bay (and the Richmond refinery, and the mountains in Marin) from another, an oak tree from a third, and some kind of pine, but also a yellow plum from the fourth.

    readersguide Diary Entry

  • A little bank that runs from the wickiup to the toyon bushes is covered with white forget-me-nots.

    The Arrow-Maker A Drama in Three Acts

  • When you hear the medicine rattles, stand off by the toyon.

    The Arrow-Maker A Drama in Three Acts

  • At the back rise high and barren cliffs where eagles nest; at the foot of the cliffs runs a stream, hidden by willow and buckthorn and toyon.

    The Arrow-Maker A Drama in Three Acts


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  • The season's come to make us merry

    Let wassail flow and loved ones serry!

    Hang tokens of joy on

    The branches of toyon

    And dance around the Christmas berry!

    December 25, 2015

  • Christmasberry

    December 20, 2009