Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

(strawberry tree)

Spreading, evergreen, shrubby tree, up to 8m tall, with rough shredding red-brown bark and mid-green leathery leaves.

Native to the Mediterranean Basin and Western Europe, this tree is well known for its fruits, the arbutus berry, which bear some resemblance to the strawberry, hence the common name strawberry tree.

The specific epithet unedo is a combination of the Latin words “unum tantum edo“, meaning “I eat one” in reference to the edible fruit.

It grows in humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun and sheltered from cold winds.

Arbutus unedo is quite an easy plant to cultivate, and is adaptable to many climates. Once established it is fairly drought resistant, frost resistant, shade tolerant and salt tolerant.

The species is resistant to fire and is used also in reforestation, as reinforcement of dunes and for soil protection.

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