Useful and Edible Plants of California / Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Grows in chaparral, grasslands and open woods (needs sun).
Do not confuse toyon with the toxic cotoneaster (the edges of cotoneaster leaves are smooth, whereas those of the toyon are coarsely toothed).
Berries ripen in December.
The ripe berries were either roasted or boiled, then eaten (may be too bitter and astringent for some people's palate).