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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Arbutus unedo

The Strawberry Tree is a commonly planted  slow growing evergreen tree reaching 10 - 25' tall x about the same width. Usually multi-stemmed forming an spreading oval shape, often wider than tall. Perhaps less commonly planted anymore with the introduction of A. 'Marina'. Images here are from Stanford, and show it as a tree or as a shrub.

 Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong to obovate shaped, margins coarsely serrated and often some what wavy. They have a nice medium green color and are lighter green below. Leaves are stiff, typical of many plants from Mediterranean climates. 

Flowers are white, urn-shaped in small pendulous clusters. Very attractive if looked at closely. Not that showy in mass from 30'.

The fruit are an attractive red/orange color. They are round, fleshy and sort of fuzzy, about  1/2 - 3/4" diameter borne in small clusters.

Stems are bright red on young vigorous branches.

Bark reddish brown with thin peeling strips.

Misidentification: Can look sort of like a Rahpiolepis shrub of maybe an Escalonia that is pruned as a small tree.

Locations: Pretty common, 

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