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PlantFiles: Killarney Strawberry Tree, Strawberry Tree
Arbutus unedo

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arbutus (ar-BYOO-tus) (Info)
Species: unedo (YOO-nee-doe) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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4 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive music53singer On Jun 6, 2011, music53singer from worcester
United Kingdom wrote:

This tree has grown well in my garden in Worcestershire has reached 6m and its fruits a so pretty.I want to try and propagate from the tree so will try seeds and hard wood cuttings in the summer.

Positive TynanWyatt On Jul 22, 2010, TynanWyatt from San Diego, CA wrote:

I have much experience with unusual edibles and that is what spurred me to try the fruits of this tree. Even though many people cite the "unedo" of the botanical name as meaning "eat one" and therefore it must have a bad taste I have to disagree. Eating fully ripe fruit has been a fantastic experience and I'd say I'd eat them over commercial strawberries (not alpine or musk though), blueberries, rasp- or blackberries, and many others.
When fully ripe they are a deep, shiny red and are very soft. If they are not soft to the point of being hard to keep the fruit together when pulling it off the branch it is not fully ripe. Heat may help develop full flavor as my experience has been on landscape plants at Mesa College in San Diego, CA, USA.
~Tynan Wyatt

Positive panwali On Jul 29, 2005, panwali from MANRESA
Spain wrote:

Where I live, NE Spain, the Strawberry Tree is a native. Here the most frequent colour in flowers is a pale yellow. I grow one in a big container on my balcony. Every year I get a crop of round red berries that taste better than those found in the wild, I ignore the reason why. What I know for sure is that they become much more pallatable if left to over-ripe.

Neutral Kwanzon On Jul 22, 2005, Kwanzon from Milford, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

The Arbutus unedo produces fruit that have an... erm... unusual taste. The species name unedo translates as "eat one". However in Italy on Corsica the fruit of Arbutus unedo is used in wine liqueur and chocolates. The wood if it also was used for making parts for looms. The roots and leaves have an astringent effect so they can be used for medicinal purposes. Overall this plant is very useful and nothing goes to waste. But dont be confuesed with Arbutus andrachne because their friuts are inedible.

Positive palmbob On Sep 24, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice looking tree, and yes the fruits are edible... but yuck... taste bad (birds love them, though)

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 28, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Strawberry tree is an evergreen broadleaf shrub or small tree with a spreading, picturesque habit, and gray-brown bark that flakes and peels in thin plates to reveal the reddish young bark beneath.

Strawberry tree is native to Ireland, southern Europe and the western Mediterranean region (Turkey, Greece, Lebanon) where it grows in rocky, well-drained soils.

Strawberry tree is an excellent choice for a shrub border or woodland garden, or even as a small specimen tree. Smaller cultivars are good in containers or on the patio.

It is also salt-tolerant.

Neutral philomel On Oct 9, 2002, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

The flowers and strawberry like fruit are present on the tree at the same time in late autumn, giving a good display

As the tree matures, the gnarled trunk with brown shredding bark becomes more apparent.

Although a member of the Ericaceae, this plant is lime tolerant
It is frost hardy, but needs to be protected from strong cold winds when young. It enjoys full sun and fertile well drained soil.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pelham, Alabama
Cottonwood, Arizona
Kingman, Arizona
Calabasas, California
Clovis, California
Davis, California
El Cajon, California
Encinitas, California
Escondido, California
La Jolla, California
Mountain View Acres, California
Napa, California
Newport Beach, California
San Clemente, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
Santa Cruz, California
Santa Monica, California
Saratoga, California
Lewes, Delaware
Loxahatchee, Florida
Kalkaska, Michigan
Las Vegas, Nevada
Raleigh, North Carolina
Brookings, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon (2 reports)
Sumter, South Carolina
Bellevue, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Edmonds, Washington
Vancouver, Washington (2 reports)
White Center, Washington

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