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ARBUTUS x andrachnoides

Image of Arbutus x andrachnoides

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ARBUTUS x andrachnoides

Plant Common Name

Arbutus

General Description

The stately hybrid strawberry tree has pretty white flowers and colorful, flaky bark. It is a large, broad, upright shrub or small tree that is a naturally occurring hybrid between the Mediterranean natives, strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) and Grecian strawberry tree (Arbutus andrachne).

Mature specimens adopt a roughly rounded habit and have beautiful serpent-like branches. Fully evergreen, ovate leaves of dark green cover the tree. These have a leathery texture and may be susceptible to sun scald and wind desiccation in winter. The trunk and branches are covered with papery cinnamon bark that exfoliates to reveal smooth yellow-green to light brown under layers. Bloom time is variable and depends on geographic location. Most specimens flower in spring and rebloom in autumn and early winter. The pendulous clusters of urn-shaped flowers are creamy white and pollinated by bees. This tree rarely produces the colorful strawberry-like fruits so famed by other species of ornamental Arbutus.

Hybrid strawberry tree grows best in full to partial sun and fertile soil with excellent drainage with a slightly acid to neutral pH. It is quite drought tolerant once established. Growth tends to be better where summers are dry and winter weather is cool and wet. Shelter from winter winds and provide more shade and irrigation where growing conditions are dry. Hybrid strawberry tree is a good choice for Oceanside plantings and makes a lovely specimen plant for yard and garden. This plant is highly variable, so it’s best to hand select plants at the nursery.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 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, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Twisted/Contorted

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Yellow Green, Light Green, Brown, Sienna

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color, Striped/Striated

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No