Family: Ericaceae
Common Name: Strawberry Tree

Comprising around 20 species of spreading, evergreen trees, this genus was named for its fruit, which are the size and colour of small strawberries. It has attractive, reddish, peeling bark, thick-textured, alternate leaves and white flowers which precede the rather tasteless fruit.


A. x andrachnoides, zone 8, from south-eastern Europe and western Asia, is a small tree which may be spreading or upright, growing to about 8 m (26 ft) high and wide. It has very attractive reddish peeling bark and sprays of white or pink-tinged flowers. It rarely sets fruit.

A. menziesii, or madrone, zone 7, from the west coast of the United States, grows 15-20 m (50-65 ft) or more in its habitat but is much smaller cultivated. It has white urn-shaped flowers in spring, followed by orange or red fruits.

A. unedo, zone 8, from southern Europe and Ireland, is a dome-shaped tree with attractive reddish bark used for tanning. In autumn the waxy white flowers and orange fruit look very pretty against dark green foliage.


Arbutus likes reasonably fertile, well-drained soil, but can adapt to a wide range of soils. Plant in a sunny, open position with shelter from coastal winds. Prune only to develop the shape. Propagate from seed sown in spring.


Suitable for zones 7 or 8 and above, depending on species.

Araucaria      Archidendron