hollyleaf cherry Rosaceae Prunus ilicifolia
Leaf:Alternate, simple, evergreen, oval to nearly round, 1 to 3 inches long, thick and leathery, margin with spine-tipped hollylike teeth, shiny green above, much paler below.
Flower:Feathery, to 3 inch-long racemes of small, creamy-white, 5-petal flowers, generally held upright, appearing in the spring.
Fruit:Clustered drupes, up to 1/2 inch in diameter, red to purple when ripe in the fall, persisting into winter.
Twig:Gray to red-brown, slender, somewhat angled, pronounced bitter almond odor and taste, pre-formed catkins present in leaf nodes.
Bark:Red-brown to gray-brown, young branches with lenticels, bitter almond scent present when broken.
Form:A large, dense, multi-stem shrub or small tree to 20 feet, of equal spread.