Arbutus unedo: Native to the Mediterranean region, western Europe, Ireland and France and commonly known as the Irish Strawberry Tree this is one of my favorites. A picturesque evergreen small tree or shrub in the Ericaceae family with serrated dark glossy leaves and fruit that looks like frosted glass christmas ornaments. The showy white flowers in fall and winter give way to yellow and red fruit .5-1 inch in the spring and summer. The fruit is edible and loved by birds and also used for making jams and liqueurs. A beautiful tree that can be included in an edible landscaping design giving it added value.
I photographed this Strawberry Tree at the Meditation Gardens at Swami’s in Encinitas, CA. The bark of the tree has a shredded flaking appearance with a trunk that twists and bends with its growth habit. The warm multi-colors of browns and reds in the trunk will melt your heart.
Height: Average maturity 8-18 feet
Spread: Equal to height.
Drought Tolerant: Moderate
Sun: Full sun or partial shade. Can be potted and used as a patio tree.
* For the smaller trees try ‘Oktoberfest’ or ‘Compacta‘ (link) Arbutus unedo trees.
Soil: Well drained clay, acidic, loam, sand or alkaline soil.
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