Pacific madrone is an evergreen tree native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia to California. It is a member of the heather family, Ericaceae that also includes azaleas, blueberries, and mountain laurel. The tree is highly prized for its twisted form and cinnamon red bark tht exfoliates to reveal the silvery greenish new bark underneath. The narrow oval leaves are spirally arranged, glossy, waxy, and three to six inches long. In spring six inch long branched sprays of ¼ inch white bell-shaped flowers appear that give way in fall to red berries that are attractive to mammals and birds. Attractive as a specimen tree or in small groups where its unusual bark can be appreciated.
Type: Evergreen tree
Outstanding Feature: Exfoliating bark
Growth Rate: Slow to rapid depending on water availability
Bloom: Six inch long branched sprays of ¼ inch white bell-shaped flowers in spring
Size: 20-100’ H x 15-30’ W
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral (lime free); drought tolerant
Hardiness: Zones 7-9
Care: Clean up exfoliated bark
Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to various foliage diseases, branch dieback, trunk cankers, and root diseases.
Propagation: Seed; difficult to transplant