The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo L.) is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Mediterranean region and western Europe north to western France and Ireland. Due to its presence in South West Ireland, it is also known as Irish strawberry tree, and Killarney strawberry tree.
The Strawberry Tree grows to 5-10 m tall, rarely up to 15 m, with a trunk diameter of up to 80 cm. Zone: 7-10
The leaves are dark green and glossy, 5-10 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin.
The fruit is a red aggregate drupe 1-2 cm diameter, sometimes called arbutus-berry, with a rough surface, maturing 12 months at the same time as the next flowering. The fruit is edible, though many people find it bland and mealy; the name 'unedo' is explained by Pliny the Elder as being derived from unum edo "I eat one", which may seem an apt response to the flavour. They mainly serve as food for birds but in some countries they are used to make jam and liqueurs (such as the Portuguese medronho, a kind of strong brandy).
Synonyms include Unedo edulis Hoffm. and Arbutus vulgaris Bub.
The title of The Garden of Earthly Delights, a mysterious painting by Hieronymus Bosch, is a later attribution. It was listed in the inventories of the Spanish Crown as "the picture with the strawberry-tree fruits".
It's as Bad as It Can Get. the Weather Is Ruining Our Crop; the Strawberry Season Is Here at Last, but Already It's a Washout for Growers
Jul 01, 2012; Byline: Warren Swords THIS summer has been the worst in living memory for the Irish strawberry, cutting the crop by one-quarter,...