Strawberry Tree - Arbutus Unuedo
Alot of you will grow strawberries, but here is Arbutus unuedo know as the strawberry tree! . This is usually an eventuallly tall but slow growing bushy evergreen, however there are more dwarfing varieties which I will mention later.Unedo can grow up to 8 metres in height, so it needs to be given space, and a position at the back of a border or maybe grown as a free standing specimen. The name Strawberry tree is given to this plant because its berries resemble those fruits. They hang though like cherries in clusters. They are edible but are quite bland in flavour. These fruits are out now and are so colourful with yellow, orange and reds indicating their state of ripeness. Also out at the same are the flowers white to pale pink in colour, bell shaped and grouped in panicles. Pollinated by bees and mildly scented. These flowers will produce the next season's fruit. The other bonuses of this interesting shrub are its attractive textured and coloured peeling bark, plus the reddish pink stems on the new foliage which is dark green.Arbutus are a member of the Ericaceae or Heather family., they tolerate and grow well in neutral soil but are even better in acidic conditions with good drainage. Largely pest and disease free with pruning (if any) best done in early April. Cutting out any crossing or rubbing growth The dwarf forms I think are even more valuable, as they are better suited to average sized gardens, arbutus unedo "Elfin King at 5ft tall, or"Octoberfest" at 6-8ft tall as choices available. All in all a super evergreen to choose as a foundation plant, to give permanent structure and interest to a planting design.