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Arbutus unedo
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

strawberry tree

Spreading, evergreen, shrubby tree, about 8m tall, with rough shredding red-brown bark and mid-green leathery leaves. Flowers are urn-shaped and white, sometimes pink tinged, appearing in panicles to 5cm long as the strawberry-like red fruits, from the previous years flowers, ripen

Other common names
cane apple
Dalmatian strawberry
see moreKillarney strawberry tree
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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Chalk
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Brown Green
Summer Red Brown Green
Autumn Red Brown White Pink Green Red
Winter Red Brown Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Arbutus are evergreen trees and shrubs with small, bell-shaped creamy-white or pink flowers, and red, strawberry-like fruits in autumn

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Ireland to Medit.

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, humus-rich, well drained soil in full sun with shelter from cold drying winds. Young plants are more frost tender than mature plants so may need winter protection

Propagation

Propagate by seed and by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Pruning group 1 but keep pruning to a minimum

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to arbutus leaf spot and honey fungus

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