full or partial sun
moderate or minimal water
Arbutus in general
All have ornamental bark, clusters of little urn-shaped flowers, decorative edible fruit, and handsome foliage. Provide good drainage, especially if plant receives regular water. Thin growth of all types as needed.
Slow to moderate growth to 8–35 ft.with equal spread. Normally has basal suckers, and stem sprouts. Can thin branches to make open-crowned tree, or plant several and leave un-pruned to make screen. Trunk and branches have rich red-brown, shredding bark; tend to become twisted and gnarled in age. Dark green, handsome, red-stemmed leaves are oblong and 2–3 in. long. Clusters of small white or greenish white, urn-shaped flowers and round, 3/4 in. fruit, yellow (young) and red (mature), like strawberries in texture, appear at the same time in fall and winter; fruit is edible but usually mealy and bland in flavor. Individual plants may produce tasty fruit.
Of unknown parentage, although Arbutus unedo ‘rubra’ is undoubtedly one of the parents. It is also likely that either or both of A. canariensis and A. andrachne conferred not only structural size but leaf size and smoothness of bark. The parent species likely experienced different blooming times, as the hybrid blooms nearly continuously and sets copious fruit — a factor making this lovely tree inappropriate for planting over hardscapes as the uneaten fruits create a slippery mess.
The plant will seldom exceed 10 ft. high everything ells is the same as the others.