By Alicia Funk
The Living Wild Project
Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia, an abundant, evergreen bush from the Rose Family, found in foothills, chaparral and woodland areas below 5,000 feet. Easy-to-grow in the home garden, the dried berries can be ground into a native, local spice and enjoyed as a cider. Its leaves can even be made into a red pigment. Its name in the Nisenan language is jolos and in KonKow Maidu is lo’lo’si and it was eaten traditionally after cooking, with certain berries having a better taste, depending on the location.
Wild Food Recipes
Toyon Berry Spice
Toyon Berry Cider
– Cover dried berries with water.
– Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, while crushing berries.
– Strain and sweeten as desired.
CAUTION: Leaves are toxic.
Learn more about wild foods at Living Wild.