Strawberry Tree identification

The Strawberry tree Arbutus unedo is an evergreen bush or small tree native to the Mediterranean region and south-western Ireland. It was first introduced to England from Ireland in the 16th century. It is now quite common in parks and gardens in warmer areas. The Hybrid Strawberry Tree is found in some gardens. This is a natural cross between the Strawberry Tree and the Cyprus Strawberry Tree.

Strawberry Tree identification – evergreen, toothed leaves, bell-like flowers and strawberry-like fruit in autumn, red-brown bark.The Strawberry Tree bears attractive red berries in late autumn but they are unpalatable (hence the scientific species name ‘unedo’ which means ‘I eat one-only’ ). However this observation may just mean that they do not taste as good as the hugely popular garden strawberry. In the Mediterranean region the fruit is used to make jam, marmalades, yogurt and brandy. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Strawberry Tree

The tree in October


Strawberry Tree leaf

The evergreen leaf is dark green above and has fine teeth.

Strawberry Tree leaves

The leaf stalks (petioles) are pink

Strawberry Tree bark

The bark is red-brown

Strawberry Tree flower buds

The flower buds form in September

Strawberry Tree flowers

Flowers at the end of October

Strawberry Tree fruit

The fruit from the previous year ripens and becomes yellow and then red in October. The fruit is a berry.

Strawberry Tree fruit

Close-up of a fruit at the end of October