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Arbutus unedo f. rubra
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

pink strawberry tree

Spreading shrubby tree about 8m tall, with rough red-brown bark and mid green leathery leaves. Dark pink urn-shaped flowers in panicles appear in autumn as the red strawberry-like fruits from the previous years flowers, ripen

Synonyms
Arbutus unedo 'Rubra'

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Brown Green
Summer Red Brown Green
Autumn Red Brown Pink Green Red
Winter Red Brown Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy, Spreading branched
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
S Europe, W Ireland

How to grow

Cultivation

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

Propagation

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

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