Toxic Parts:
cyanogenic glycosides
Flower Color:
  • flower color
gardens, mountains, ornamental, woodlands

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Toyon distribution - United States

Related Species


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Christmas Holly, Christmas Berry, Tollon, Hollywood Plant
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Heteromeles arbutifolia, also known as Toyon, is an evergreen shrub or tree native to California and Baja California. During the holiday season it is often used in decorations due to the bright red berries it produces. The plant is commonly found in the hills of Los Angeles, where it gets its nickname, 'Hollywood plant'.

Toxic components
All parts of H. arbutifolia contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are toxic to horses (they convert to cyanide in the horse's mouth). The toxicity level varies on stage of growth and part of the plant. Toxins are highest during new growth of leaves and immature fruits. Most cases of poisoning occur during the winter and spring, and/or when yard clippings of the plant are given to horses or left in pastures where horses are kept. In addition to cyanogenic glycosides, both the leaves and fruits also contain tannins.