California Native Plant Society
Tap map to see plants native to location
Add
All plants for California > Comarostaphylis diversifolia >
Please enter either the common name or the botanical name of any native California plant species to see it's plant record

Loading....
Summer Holly
  • Added Add to My Plant List
Comarostaphylis diversifolia
  

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range



About Summer Holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia) Comarostaphylis diversifolia is a rare shrub in the heath family known by the common name Summer Holly. It is slow growing in an upright form up to a height of 20 feet or more, with striking white flowers in the spring, an incredible summer display of holly-like red berries , and attractive gray bark. It is native to southern California and northern Baja California, where it grows in coastal chaparral habitat, usually on well drained slopes. Its bark is gray and shreddy and the tough, evergreen leaves are oval in shape and sometimes toothed. The flower cluster is a raceme of urn-shaped flowers very similar to those of the related shrubs, the manzanitas. The fruit is a bright red, juicy drupe with a bumpy skin. There are two subspecies. C. d. ssp. diversifolia - native to the coastal hills of southern California and Baja California, C. d. ssp. planifolia - native to the Channel Islands of California and the Transverse Ranges north of Los Angeles. Subspecies diversifolia tends to grow with Mission Manzanita, Scrub Oak and Toyon.

In nature, Summer Holly is most often found on shady dry slopes, near occasional creeks or runoffs. It grows slowly until it breaks through the lower canopy, and gets its leaves in the sun. In landscapes it does best in dry part shade, near irrigated spots or other slightly damp areas. It prefers heavier, richer soils that retain the little moisture it gets a little longer. Best to plant Summer Holly in the fall, so it can get established by summer. This plant is among the least tolerant to direct water in the summer. After the first year, direct water in the summer will usually kill it.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub

Max. Height
20 ft (6.1 m)

Max. Width
3 - 15 ft (0.9 - 4.6 m)

Form
Rounded

Fragrance
None

Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Evergreen

Leaves
Hard, glossy, elliptical, 2-9 cm long, edges toothed and curled under

Flower Color
Cream

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry shady, often north facing slopes of dense southern maritime chaparral on the coastal side of the Peninsular Range

Sun
Part Shade

Elevation ?
2' - 3521'

Annual Precip. ?
11.0" - 34.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 0.79"

Coldest Month ?
45.9° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
62.7° F - 77.4° F

Humidity ?
0.92 vpd - 22.18 vpd

Soil Description
This subspecies prefers eroded sandstone soils of marine deposits that are typical of coastal San Diego County.

Soil Texture
Sandy Loam

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Drainage
Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Wildlife Attracted
Birds are attracted to the fruit

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?

No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Mulch
Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Slightly green or Fresh seeds need no treatment. Stored seeds 3 mos. stratification.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hummingbird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Comarostaphylos


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X




Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address
Password

Sign In


Copyright © 1999-2014 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.