Urban Jungle Nursery

       


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Arbutus unedo - 2Ltr is unavailable at this time.
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Picture By jxandreani (082) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


(Strawberry tree)
  (Award of Garden Merit)

Family Ericaceae
Originating from Mediterranean and Ireland

An evergreen tree, with an abundance of glossy, leathery dark green leaves, beautiful cinnamon red, shredding bark and drooping panicles of pink/white Lily-of-the-valley like flowers in late autumn. It produces small orange/red fruits, which take 12 months to mature, so it's usual to see fruits and flowers on the tree simultaneously. The fruits, while edible are not particularly palatable (unedo means 'I eat only one') and are probably best left for the birds, at a time of year when food is scarce - late autumn/winter. One of the many attractive features of Arbutus unedo is the gnarled looking nature of its trunk and branches with their peeling, shredding bark. Even quite young trees can have the appearance of venerable old age.
It is eminently suitable for small gardens, quickly achieving its mature height of only approximately 5m in the UK. Although a member of the Ericaceae family, and one would assume requiring acidic soil, Arbutus unedo is lime tolerant, but in very chalky soils it may not achieve its full growth potential. An easy tree to grow requiring little if any pruning, but may be grown as an evergreen hedge with regular clipping.
Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in sun.

Eventual mature plant size :
Height 5m
Spread 5m
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