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)

Category:

Shrubs

Trees

Foliage Color:

Dark/Black

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Foliage:

Evergreen

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

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

This tree has grown well in my garden in Worcestershire U.K.it 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.