Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
Arbutus unedo, the strawberry tree, or Killarney strawberry tree, will grow in a wide range of soils but needs a sheltered spot and full sun. Its botanical name is obscure but may date back to Pliny the Elder - it's depicted on a fresco in Pompeii. It is a spreading, slow growing evergreen shrub or small tree with strawberry like (surprise!) but scarcely edible fruit, high in anti-oxidants apparently. It will grow to around 5m, but very slowly. The strawberry tree has pretty white bell shaped flowers which are attractive to honeybees and buff tailed bumblebees in particular, and has the great virtue of flowering very late in the season to supplement the nectar flow from ivy. The photo I took show flowers in December! It also has attractive red/brown bark. Arbutus unedo has a wide natural range across SW Europe, also including Ireland (as the Killarney association suggests). Excellent for urban sites and easy to grow, drought tolerant. Younger plants are frost tender, but happy with a wide range of situations including coastal sites and shade. RHS AGM.
Size: 5 litre pot grown, height 2ft upwards
Flowers: October - December
Soil type: Most well drained soils
Supplier : R.V.Roger
We supply strawberry trees pot grown, so they are available all year round.
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Time to Ultimate Height
Up to 50 years
Clay, loam, sand