Immature and Mature Fruits of Strawberry Tree on the Plant
Immature and Mature Fruits of Strawberry Tree on the Plant

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

Strawberry Tree is a small tree or shrub of Mediterranean origin. It has an excellent appearance, not only thanks to its shiny evergreen and intensely green color foliage but also due to a remarkable speciality: in the same plant one can see certain seasons of the year at the same time almost all the plant parts, including the flowers, immature and its mature fruits.

Strawberry Tree is used both for planting in Mediterranean gardens, pots and window-boxes, and on a larger scale, utilized in gardening and landscape architecture.

The following article summarizes the portrait of the plant. Any imperfection in the representation of Strawberry Tree is charged to the artist and not to the impeccable and irreproachable model.

Strawberry Tree Geographic Range

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

Native Shrub of Strawberry Tree in Hymettus
Native Shrub of Strawberry Tree in Hymettus
Strawberry Tree Fruits Yellow and Red Color in the Plant
Strawberry Tree Fruits Yellow and Red Color in the Plant
Young Strawberry Tree Flowers
Young Strawberry Tree Flowers
Strawberry Tree Shrub with Flowers and Fruits
Strawberry Tree Shrub with Flowers and Fruits

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) - Brief Description

Scientific name

Arbutus unedo

Common name

Strawberry Tree, Killarney Strawberry Tree, Madroño, Irish strawberry tree, Cain apple, Cane apple, Grecian madrone, Grecian strawberry tree,  Greek strawberry tree


General characteristics

Type of foliage: Evergreen

Form: Shrub or small tree, crown shape round with symmetrical canopy

Texture: Fine

Height: 2.5-5,5 (up to 10) m, 8-18 (up to 32) ft

Diameter: 2.5-5,5 (up to 10) m, 8-18 (up to 32) ft

Growth rate: Slow

Flowering period: April

Fruiting period: Autumn-Winter


Shape and colours

Bark: Red-brown

Leaves shape: Elliptic-oblong to elliptic-ovate

Foliage colour: Green

Foliage colour in autumn: Green

Flowers shape: Urn-shaped in clusters (panicles)

Flowers colour: White to pinkish

Fruit: Spherical, orange-red colour



Soil type: Sand to clay loam, sand, acidic to slightly acidic and well-drained

Exposure: Sun, semi-shade

Soil pH: 4 to 6.5

Watering: Medium

Hardiness: -9.4 °C (15 °F – USDA Hardiness zone 8b)



Hedges, mixed hedges, avenues, squares, parks, theme parks, large gardens, coastal areas, ecological zones

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

Strawberry Tree with Bee on Flowers
Arbutus with Bee on Flowers
Strawberry Tree Fruits Yellow and Red Color
Strawberry Tree Fruits Yellow and Red Color

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) - General Notes

  1. The name of the genus comes from the Latin ‘arbutus’, which means ‘bush or tree‘ while ‘unedo’ is due to the Latin ‘unum tantum edo’, a phrase attributed to Gaius Plinyus Secundus and means ‘I only eat one’.
  2. Strawberry Trees, as plants mainly of the Mediterranean areas, are fully adapted to the usual forest fires in the Mediterranean conditions. Immediately after the fires are revegetate.
  3. Strawberry Tree is a bee-keeping plant. The honey produced is rather devoid of pleasantly bitter taste, rich in vitamins and trace elements, and crystallizes quickly.
  4. It is a plant quite resistant to drought, after the first – second year of its planting. It also does not face serious problems from diseases and enemies, with the exception of aphids sometimes.
  5. The adult Strawberry Tree, withstand low temperatures up to -16°C, without any damage.
  6. Strawberry Tree is propagated by seed, by semi-hardwood cuttings as well as tissue culture. The latter two techniques are used to faithfully reproduce varieties.
  7. Although planted in almost every soil type with a pH of up to 7, it grows better in moderately acidic soils with excellent drainage, as well as in places where no strong winter frosts prevail. It wants full exposure to the sun, it grows well in the half-shade, while in the Mediterranean countries with many days of sunshine, it can be planted even in shady places with satisfactory results.
  8. More than satisfactory: Greek Savina Yannatou sings the Turkish song ‘Geçmiş Güzel Günleri’ of the Armenian Udi Hrant Kenkulian.


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