Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia): Also known as Christmas berry and California holly (due to its bright red berries), this shrub is where Hollywood gets its name. Its elongated leaves are around 2-5 inches long with sharp teeth around the edges (but not prickly). In early summer it has clusters of small, white flowers that turn into bright, red berries in the fall and last well into the winter. The fruits are eaten by California quail, native band-tailed pigeons, and many songbirds; as well as coyotes and black bears.
Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia): This tree is iconic to the golden East Bay Area hills, and its acorns were widely used by native people as a food crop. Its 1-4 inch long leaves are tough and often prickly, as well as highly convex–shaped-like an umbrella. The spring flowers are rather unremarkable, although the male flowers hang in long 2-4 inch catkins bursts. The acorns are about 1-1.5 inches long and cone-shaped. California quail, mule deer, and other species eat the acorns.
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens): The tallest trees on earth are coast redwoods, regularly reaching 250 feet, but they have been depleted by irresponsible lumbering practices. These coniferous trees are immediately recognizable by their fibrous, red bark and happy sprays of flat needle-shaped leaves. Being conifers, they don’t produce flowers, but small 1-inch round cones can often be found on the ground around the trunk. These trees are so large that an individual tree can support an entire ecosystem in its branches including things like earthworm laden soil in the treetops!