Kilarney Strawberry Tree
Also known as
Strawberry Tree, Cane Apple, Dalmatian Strawberry, Irish Strawberry-Tree, Western Strawberry-Tree, Arbutus
Arbutus unedo 20091012 1 by Luis Fernández García (CC BY-SA 3.0)
3 years to reach maturity
Fruit falls from the tree when it is fully ripe. Make sure the fruit has a soft surface to fall on so that it is not damaged by the fall. Fruit can be picked when it is deep red in colour and very soft to the touch.
The strawberry tree is a slow-growing, evergreen ornamental shrub or small tree species with a bushy growth habit, commonly grown in many parts of the world. With its dark green leaves, white bell-shaped flowers & small red fruit, this plant is a popular choice for garden planting. This hardy species can be grown into a rough but pretty hedge & looks great in a woodland garden setting. The fruit is edible when fully ripe but has a bland flavour so is not regularly eaten fresh. This fruit has a high sugar content so is more frequently processed in jams & jellies.
Pests include scales and thrips, and diseases include anthracnose, Phytophthora, root rot, and rust.
Olives. Under-plant with hellebores, wood anemones and spring bulbs
Use mature wood about 15 - 20cm long of the current season's growth, preferably with a heel.
Layering of young wood - can take 2 years to make roots.
This is best sown on the surface of compost in a greenhouse as soon as it's ripe. If ripe seed are unobtainable, then soak store seed for 5 - 6 days in warm water before being sown in late winter.
The fruits are food for birds.
Attracts useful insects
Serves as a food for bees in honey production.
Used as a hedge shrub in gardens and public landscapes. Prune minimally & don't try to make a defined hedge from this shrub.
Very drought tolerant, once established.
In folk medicine, the plant has been used for antiseptic, astringent, intoxicant, rheumatism, and tonic purposes. The flowers are weakly diaphoretic.
Popular choice of shrub / tree to plant in your garden.
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