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Arbutus unedo, Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo

Strawberry Tree
Family: Ericaceae
Origin: Europe and the Mediterranean
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunSemi-shadeModerate waterWhite/off-white flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsEdible

The strawberry tree is a beautiful small evergreen tree or shrub that can occasionally reach 27ft tall and 24ft wide, though it is usually rather smaller. A very easily grown and trouble-free plant, it does best in a nutrient-rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. It also grows well in heavy clay soils and in dry soils. Most species in this genus require a lime-free soil but this species is fairly lime tolerant. Especially when young, it prefers a fairly sheltered position and dislikes cold drying winds. This is a very good tree to grow in towns because it tolerates industrial pollution. The strawberry tree produces masses of beautiful white flowers in November and December. Since the fruit takes 12 months to ripen, the tree carries both mature fruit and flowers at the same time and is then incredibly beautiful.

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