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Garden Plants for Flower Arranging: Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo)

Arbutus unedo fl frStrawberry tree is a broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree native to the Mediterranean region. It has spreading limbs with exfoliating gray-brown bark that reveals the reddish bark below. As the plant matures the limbs and trunk become gnarled and add an architectural element to the garden. The dark green leaves are glossy, leathery, and are two to four inches long. The white to pink urn-shaped flowers are fragrant and produced in clusters in the fall. Each cluster is two inches long and composed of ten to thirty flowers. The strawberry-like fruits develop over the course of the following year and are ripe in the fall about the same time new flowers are being produced. Although edible the fruits are not considered good eating but are valued for their use in flower arrangements especially when used with other fruits. The flowers and leaves, however, are not good plant material for the vase.

Arbutus_unedo fl lvCutting: No special treatment
Conditioning: Remove all leaves from the branches bearing fruit, make 1-2” vertical slits in the bottom of the stems, and give a long drink.
Preserving: Not relevant
Cultivation:

Size

      : 15-30’ H x 15-30’ W

Light:

      Sun to part shade

Soil:

      Average, medium moist, well-drained, acidic; drought tolerant once established

Hardiness:

      Zones 7-10

Propagation

      : Seed sown immediately when ripe, basil cuttings in late winter, hardwood cuttings in November to December.

Care:

    Plants can be limbed up to produce trees or allowed to grow into mult-istemmed shrubs.