Arbutus unedo


Common Name: Strawberry Tree



Ericaceae (family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Produces Pollen and Nectar for Short and Long-tongued Bumblebees. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can develop huge autumn populations solely on the pollen of this species. Nectar is consumed by many bees including Honeybees.
Flowering time: September-November.
Growing information: EVERGREEN TREE growing to 8m (26ft) by 3m (10t) in ten years. Hardy to minus 23ºC. Can withstand coastal gales and tolerates lime (which is unusual for members of this family), as well as acid soil, and is drought-resistant. Stunning in autumn, with large red mature fruits at the same time as the pretty white flowers. The fruit contains about 20% sugars and can be used to make jams and preserves. When fully ripe it falls from the tree. All parts of the plant contain ethyl gallate, a substance that possesses strong antibiotic activity against ‘Mycobacterium’ bacteria. The flowers are pollinated by Honeybees and Bumblebees. Self-fertile. This tree is native to West of Ireland, though has naturalized in parts of the UK, and is overwhelmingly beneficial. It has been given the status AGM by the Royal Horticultural Society