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ARBUTUS 'Marina'

Image of Arbutus 'Marina'

John Rickard

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ARBUTUS 'Marina'

Plant Common Name

Marina Strawberry Tree, Strawberry Tree

General Description

The parents of this small ornamental tree come from Mediterranean regions where winters are mild and rainy and summers long, hot and dry. ‘Marina’, which is a cross between Arbutus unedo and A. andrachne, has exceptional tolerance to summer drought making it the perfect evergreen for arid western gardens.

This ericaceous tree is noted for its beautiful cinnamon-colored bark that sheds periodically helping it maintain good color. The branches bear large, dark green, serrated leaves that are bronze when they first emerge. Bunches of pendulous, urn-shaped, pink flowers flushed with white are produced in spring. These continue to appear sporadically through summer. A second heavy bloom occurs in fall. The fruits of spring mature to red when those of summer are still yellow offering a nice contrast of colors. Mature fruit has gritty flesh but is edible and has a mild, sweet, kiwi-like flavor.

Grow hybrid strawberry tree in full sun and very well-drained, somewhat dry soil with average to poor fertility. It is nearly pest and disease free if these cultural requirements are met. During extended periods of drought, provide some water to keep trees looking their best. Remove dead and dying branches as needed. Otherwise, prune ‘Marina’ minimally and selectively. Shearing will destroy its pleasing upright, spreading habit.

This is an ideal small accent tree for western and southwestern landscapes. It is also well-suited for planting along large foundations.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    40'-0' / 12.2m - 0.0m

  • Width

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No