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Heteromeles (arbutifolia)

Betty Young
Nurseries Sr Manager
Bldg 201, Fort Mason
San Francisco, California 94123
415-331-7521 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Rosaceae
Family Common Name: Rose Family
Scientific Name: Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindl.) M. Roemer
Common Name: Toyon
Species Code: HETARB
Ecotype: Marin County, California
General Distribution: H. arbutifolia is found on brushy slopes and in canyons below 4,000 feet elevation, from southern California north to Humboldt County.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: Deepot 40
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Height: N/A<br> Caliper: N/A<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected between September 1st and January 1st.
Mature fruits are red. Open fruits and check for seed maturity.
Seeds should be tan and hard.
Propagule Processing: Seed Cleaning: Place fruits in a blender (with taped blades) with some water and run for short duration intil seeds are extracted.Soak for 3 days in water. Mash fruits through a sieve and repeat until seeds are clean. Stratify or store dry.
Storage Conditions: Seeds are kept dry and stored in a refrigerator.
Seeds/gram: 33
Pre-Planting Treatments: Place seed in a 10% bleach solution for 1 minute. Rinse and soak overnight in fresh water. Strain and place seeds in new plastic freezer bag with an equal amount of moist vermiculite. Stratify for 45 to 60 days in a refigerator.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Fully Controlled Greenhouse.
Sowing Method: Transplanting Germinants.
10 grams of seeds are sown per flat containing Sunshine Mix #4 Aggregate Plus (peat moss, perlite, major and minor nutrients, gypsum, and dolomitic lime).
Seeds are covered with media.
Flats are watered in with an automatic irrigation system.
% Germination: 50%
Establishment Phase: Seeds germinate 14 days after sowing.
Seedlings are transplanted 14 days after germination to individual containers 2"x10" tubes (Deepot 40) containing standard potting mix of peat moss, fir bark, perlite, and sand.
Transplant Survival averages 75%.
Toyon grows in flats easily. Make sure to transplant before taproots reach bottom of flats and when seedlings have 2 paires of leaves.
Media will need to be kept evenly moist on the surface after transplanting.
Length of Establishment Phase: 28 days
Active Growth Phase: Toyon is suseptible to scab. Bring nursery stoock back into greenhouse if weather conditions are cold, damp or foggy; even if only a few days in duration. The fungus attacks plants quickly in these conditions.
Prune shrubs carefully.
If Toyon is to be kept in the nursery more than one year,transplant to 4IN treepots.
References: A California Flora and Supplement, Munz, P., University of California Press, Berkeley and London, 1973.


Young, Betty. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindl.) M. Roemer plants Deepot 40; San Francisco, California. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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