Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp asplenifolius
Photo by Flickr user David Short

Catalina ironwood

This plant grows well in the following regions:

  • NCNorth and Central Coast
  • SCSouth Coast
Map of regions (click to enlarge)
map of California regions



This is a very pleasing tree with a moderate growth rate, maintainable size, and low litter production. Like blue gum eucalyptus (an invasive plant), it serves well as a screen tree. This California native is evergreen and well suited to the coastal climate of Southern California. The tree has a moderate growth rate and can get up to 20-35 feet tall and 15 feet wide with an oval shape. The foliage is dense with distinctive leaves that are dark green on the top with hairy undersides, divided into multiple 4-6 inch long leaflets.

Another unique and preferred characteristic is the red-brown bark that peels off in long strips. Additionally, small white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer in large clusters. This is a species that needs excellent soil drainage as it can suffer from chlorosis. Easiest to grow near the coast.

Sun needs:

  • Full sun

Water needs:

  • Low water
Water needs information from WUCOLS unless otherwise noted