Common name: Madrone, Strawberry Tree
Arbutus are amongst the most ornamental small trees available to Australian horticulture. All Arbutus require reasonably well-drained soils, but unlike many members of the Ericaceae, Arbutus do not require strongly acidic soils.
A. canariensis and A. glandulosa both produce handsome, knobbly fruit that turns rich red. The fruits may present a weed problem, so it may be more appropriate to use the sterile Arbutus X andrachnoides in an ecologically-sensitive area.
Canary Islands Madrone. This tree has bold foliage to 15cm long, and large, somewhat-upright panicles of white bell-like flowers throughout the year. The bark of this tree is also very showy, it is dark orange in most seasons, but with extreme heat and sun, it can become a mid-purple. Like gum trees, the trunk is smooth, and the bark is shed annually. At our Victoria Harbour site, we have found that is quite wind and heat tolerant, making it an ideal evergreen tree to use throughout Melbourne. With weekly-to-fortnightly summer irrigation, A. canariensis will grow up to 250mm per year. Beautiful specimens of this tree can be found in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens.
Typical mature height: 6-9m
Useful in: parks & display plantings
Sites for best growth: well-drained, some irrigation