Arbutus unedo, commonly known as the Strawberry Tree, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that belongs to the family Ericaceae. This distinctive tree is native to the Mediterranean region, including parts of Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It is also found in some parts of Ireland and the western coast of Britain.
The tree has leathery leaves that are dark green and shiny and produces small, bell-shaped flowers that are urn-shaped and typically white or pale pink.
One of the most distinctive features of Arbutus unedo is its fruit, which looks like a small strawberry. The fruit is round, about 1 to 2 cm in diameter, and starts green, turning yellow to reddish as it ripens. Despite its strawberry-like appearance, the fruit has a unique, somewhat grainy texture and a mildly sweet taste. The fruits take almost a year to ripen, and it’s not uncommon to see both flowers and mature fruits on the tree at the same time. These fruits are not only ornamental but also serve as a food source for birds and other wildlife. The nectar-rich flowers attract pollinators like bees.
The Strawberry Tree grows well in various soil types, including poor and rocky soils. It is often found in coastal areas and is resistant to salt spray. It can tolerate both full sun and partial shade.
Name: Arbutus Unedo
Approx. Height and spread: 4-8m x 4-8m
Position: Full sun
Soil Ph: All
Moisture: Well drained. Moist, but well drained.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
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