Killarney Strawberry Tree, Strawberry Tree 'Compacta'

Arbutus unedo

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arbutus (ar-BYOO-tus) (Info)
Species: unedo (YOO-nee-doe) (Info)
Cultivar: Compacta
View this plant in a garden




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Arroyo Grande, California (2 reports)

Chula Vista, California

Martinez, California

San Leandro, California

Bishopville, Maryland

Durham, North Carolina

Beaverton, Oregon

Newport News, Virginia

Marysville, Washington

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

Tacoma, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 13, 2013, LakeLivingRos from SeaTac, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had two Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' trees in large barrels for over 2 years and they are in full sun, get minimal water even in drought, and look stunning all year round! The fruit has a beautiful looking texture as well. My trees were on the front of my property along a very busy traffic street. These trees never got any diseases and/or pests nor did they ever have problems. Unfortunately, a car slid on ice and did a hit and run into my arbutus unedo trees.. I loved them so much that I searched out my local nursery and had to replace them. Birds never bothered the fruits, but then again, I am on a busy street and they would hang out in trees that are farther away from the traffic and on the lake side of my property. Since my trees were in large barrel planters, the fruit would a... read more


On Nov 18, 2012, CentralCoaster from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

I needed to plant something in a round planter that is the focal point of my small front yard. I wanted it to be something of manageable size, drought tolerant, ever-green, and shade-producing for my westward living room. After considerable deliberation, I settled on this specie of arbutus, and now, three years later, I am richly rewarded. This photo was taken in November 2012. After a weekend of gentle rain, the tree is looking its best, the graceful ebony tree bark beautifully complements the vivid green of the leaves. Although not easily seen in the photo, small bright red and yellow fruits dot the foliage like so many tiny Christmas lights.
The only drawback is that the fallen fruits make a mess on the ground - but that's a small price to pay. Care is minimal.


On Apr 25, 2007, howards from Beaverton, OR wrote:

This lovely shrub has 4-season interest: evergreen leaves, peeling bark, tiny white urn-shaped flowers, and best of all, fruits that have the texture of strawberries and the shape of cherries. The fruits are edible, though tasteless. I even have one growing in the most shady part of my zone 8b yard; while it doesn't produce much fruit, it still looks nice.