Friday, April 20, 2012

Arbutus unedo, Irish Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo, The Strawberry Tree
It is flowering now in Autumn sunshine
Arbutus is from southern Europe, Ireland and the Canary Islands but it is especially popular in the Algarave province of Portugal where they turn the fruit into a mean hard spirit with a kick called Medronho. In Spain, the city of Madrid was once surrounded by Arbutus trees and the city's coat of arms shows a bear and an Arbutus tree.
Here it grows across a range of climates but does better in cool districts. I am not aware of the fruit being popular here for use in the making of liqueurs but it is an exceptionally decorative large shrub to small tree with dense green foliage absolutely smothered in white waxy flowers at this time of year. I no longer attempt to grow it here on the coast as it was fairly susceptible to spider mite which turned the leaves a silvery colour.


  1. Arbutus unedo o "corbezzolo" is very common in Sardinian Isle,in coastal areas beaten by salty winds.Here the arbutus grow as tree hight up to 8 meters.
    From flowers the bees produce bitter honey utilized for sore throat treatment.

  2. Thanks for your comments. Very interesting information