Strawberry Tree Facts

Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Mediterranean region and Western Europe north to western France and Ireland. Due to its presence in southwest and northwest Ireland, it is known as either “Irish strawberry tree”, or Cain or cane apple (from the Gaelic name for the tree, caithne, or sometimes “Killarney strawberry tree”. It flowers in November and December, the fruit takes 12 months to ripen and so the tree carries both mature fruit and flowers at the same time and is incredibly beautiful at this time. The flowers have a soft honey scent. This is a superb plant to grow as a specimen in a lawn, and it also grows very well on the sunny edges of a woodland garden. The fruit is about the size of a strawberry and hence the tree’s nickname. The taste is bland, though slightly acidic, and therefore, quite refreshing. Its berries are rarely eaten as fresh fruits but have some importance in local agricultural communities which use them for the production of alcoholic beverages, jams, jellies and marmalades.

Name Strawberry tree
Scientific Name Arbutus unedo L.
Native Native from the Mediterranean to Ireland
Common/English Name Arbutus, Strawberry tree, Grecian madrone, Grecian strawberry tree, Greek strawberry tree
Name in Other Languages Spanish: Aborio, Alborocera, Madroño, Madroños, Borrachín
French: Arbousier, Arbousier commun, Fraisier en arbre
English: Arbutus, Strawberry tree
Arabic:  الجنا ة الاحمر  Al ginâ’ el ahhmar (Egypt),  عصير الدب ‘Asir adub,    بجج   Bagg (Saudi Arabia),  جناء أحمر  Gina el ahmar,   قاتل ابيه  Qâtil abîh (Egypt),  قاتل أبية  Qâtil abîya ,     قطلب  Qutlub (Saudi Arabia),   قطلب شائع   Qutlub shaya, مطرونية  (Algeria)
German :  Erdbeerbaum, Westlicher Erdbeerbaum
Italian:  Albatro, Arbatro, Brichello, Corbezzolo, Fragola arborea, Sorbo peloso
Japanese:  アルブツス  Arubutsusu,  ヒメイチゴノキ  Hime ichigo no ki,    姫イチゴの木  Hime ichigo no ki,  ストロベリーツリー   Sutoroberii tsurii.
Portuguese:  Ervedeiro,  Medronheiro,                 aborio
Russian:  Арбутус крупноплодный   Arbutus krupnoplodnyj, Земляничник обыкновенный  Zemlianichnik obyknovennyj,  Земляничное дерево  Zemlianichnoe derevo,  Земляничное дерево крупноплодное  Zemlianichnoe derevo krupnoplodnoe, Земляничное дерево обыкновенное  Zemlianichnoe derevo obyknovennoe
Turkish:  Hoca yemişi ağacı, Katlab
Swedish: Smultronträd
Azerbaijani: Çiyələk ağacı
Bolivia: albocera, aborio
Australia: strawberry tree
U.S: Cane-apples
U.S: Strawberry-tree
Estonia: harilik maasikapuu
Mallorquí: arbocer, arbocera
Valencian: alborcel, alborcera
Plant Growth Habit Broadleaf Evergreen, slow-growing large shrub or small tree.
Growing Climate Grow well in sun or semi-shade. This is a very good tree to grow in towns because it tolerates industrial pollution.
Soil Grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It tolerates wet sites but does best in well-drained areas that do not experience severe drought.
Plant Size 9 meters tall and 8 meters wide
Bark The bark is rough and scaly, grey or grey-brown. Young bark is red-brown and gives off fibres. Young shoots are hairy.
Trunk Grayish-brown trunk diameter of up to 80 cm.
Leaf Dark green and glossy, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) broad, with a serrated margin. The upper surfaces of the leaves are a very glossy dark green color, while the undersides are paler.
Flower White (rarely pale pink), bell-shaped, 4–6 mm diameter, produced panicles of 10–30 together in autumn.
Flowering season October to December
Fruit Shape Spherical berry, 1–2 cm diameter,
Fruit Color Start out yellow and gradually change to red
Fruit Skin Rough
Flesh Color White to golden in color with a soft jelly-like consistency
Flavor/Aroma Delicate pleasant flavor
Taste Tastes similar to a fig. However, some people find it bland, meally and tasteless