Toyon is a California Native plant that is a major part of the coastal sage scrub community and commonly known as Christmas Berry or California Holly. Some say the red berries of the Toyon gave Hollywood its name– read more about that here. Birds love to eat the bright red berries that are ripe in winter. Many parts of the plant have been used as remedies by native and indigenous people for generations.
Find Toyon on both sides of the Palomar Street bridge and dirt path as well as all along the La Jolla Bike Path. They are easily spotted in winter by the abundance of bright red berries.
Don't confuse Toyon with Firethorn (Pyracanthas) which is adjacent to the path and Trading Post. Toyon can be differentiated from Firethorn easily by the shape of the leaves. Like Holly, Toyon leaves have a distinctive serrated edge while the Firethorn leaves have smooth edges.