Arbutus Unedo1

$25.00

Dense evergreen shrub with dark green glossy leaves and edible fruit. The pretty bell-shaped flowers are white and loved by bees and tui.

Description

Dense evergreen shrub with dark green glossy leaves and edible fruit. The pretty bell-shaped flowers are white and loved by bees and tui.

  • Botanical Name: Arbutus unedo
  • Plant Family: Ericaceae
  • Synonyms: Strawberry Tree, Irish Strawberry Tree, Killarney Strawberry Tree, Cain/Cane Apple
  • Form: Shrub/Small Tree
  • Lifecycle: Perennial
  • Use 1. Fruit: Produces a red fruit, 2cm in diameter, with a rough surface. The fruit is edible, raw or cooked, and is sweet but can be a little bland. It has a high content of anti-oxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene.  It contains about 20% sugars and can be used to make delicious jams and preserves.
  • Use 2. Brewing: The fruit can be made into wines , liqueurs and spirits. In Portugal it is used to make a brandy, and in Albania it is made into a traditional beverage called Rakia.
  • Use 3. Medicinal : The leaves, bark and root contain anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, diuretic and astringent properties and have been used in folk and traditional medicine.
  • Use 4. Tanning: The bark can be used for tanning leather.
  • Use 5. Soil Stabilisation: The extensive root system can help to bind loose soils and prevent erosion.
  • Use 6. Fire Break: Arbutus is fire-resistant and can be used as part of a fire break.
  • Growing Conditions: A pioneer plant which can grow well even in poor soils, and tolerates clay or sand, moist or dry, full sun or part shade, salt winds and atmospheric pollution – what a trooper! 
  • Height x Spread: 5 – 8m x 3-7m
  • Hardiness: Hardy to -15
  • Flowering time:  Fragrant Lily of the Valley-like flowers appear in Autumn, at the same time as the previous year’s crop is maturing, so both fruit and flowers are seen on the plant at one time.
  • Pollination: Pollinated by bees and some birds. Self-fertile.
  • Biodiversity value: The flowers are a significant source of nectar and pollen for bees and are much loved by tui.
  • Native to: Mediterranean and Western Europe as far north as Ireland.
  • Food Forest Fit: Small tree layer or canopy in a small garden. 
  • Fun Fact: The tree makes up part of the coat of arms of the city of Madrid.
  • Pot size: PB8