Prunus lyonii. CATALINA CHERRY. Catalina and nearby islands

ROSACEAE (Rose family)

Catalina cherry has toothed leaves that are not prickly like those of P. ilicifolia and in fact mature leaves may be practically smooth-edged. The flowers are in long spikes as with P. ilicifolia; the fruit is a black edible cherry with large stones. The tree regenerates freely on campus, with the help of birds. Catalina cherries line the bike path from Santa Fe Avenue to Stanford Avenue and more were planted at The Oval in 2002. There are some nice examples -- growing with coast live oak -- where the north end of East Ear path intersects the Oval (view map). Named in 1911 by Harold Lloyd Lyon, a Hawaiian sugar expert, the tree was soon assigned subspecies status under P. ilicifolia with names such as integrifolia and occidentalis. Since the toothed- and smooth-leafed forms cross readily in cultivation the common names need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Illus. right: George B. Sudworth. Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope. USDA, 1907. Click for larger image.

Other campus Prunus: Prunus armeniaca | Prunus caroliniana | Prunus cerasifera | Prunus ilicifolia | Prunus laurocerasus | Prunus lusitanica | Prunus lyonii | Prunus serrulata | Prunus subhirtella | Prunus × blireiana | Prunus × yedoensis

Illustrations (links open new windows): CalPhotos

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species

Related material: treatment in Jepson Manual

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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