Arbutus x andrachnoides

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Ireland is the perfect place to mention the strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, because this lovely, evergreen tree with small, white, heather-like flowers and dense, stringy cinnamon bark is native to the Atlantic coast of Portugal, Spain and, surprisingly Ireland. Good though this tree is, I was struck, the other week, by the beauty of the related Arbutus x andrachnoides, a hybrid between the native plant and the more tender, Greek, Arbutus andrachne.

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The hybrid is larger than the native tree and has inherited the peeling, beautiful bark of the Greek tree. It is especially beautiful in winter when the low sun can shine on the bark below the canopy of leaves. The flowers are small and white and, though useful for opening so late in the year, are almost a distraction.

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Having rained just minutes before the sun came out, the bark shone in the light.

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8 Comments on “Arbutus x andrachnoides”

  1. sueturner31
    January 20, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    Beautiful… I think this is the one growing at Bodnant N’ Wales…always liked it…

  2. ontheedgegardening
    January 21, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    A beautiful tree, I love a good bark – woof! (sorry)

  3. Maria F.
    January 22, 2015 at 12:08 am #

    Beautiful, we have a “rainbow” Eucaliptus tree here but native to Australia.

  4. Steve Yandall
    October 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    Only 3 years late but a blink in plant terms! Clearing a corner of my Nursery I found 5 x andrachnoides in 20lt pots.Not watered or maintained but growing strongly.What a constitution!

  5. Roy w Martin
    January 22, 2020 at 11:18 pm #

    Beautiful pictures. Where did you photograph it?
    We have the equally beautiful Arbutus menziesii
    on the west coast of North America.

    an Arbutus enthusiast

    • thebikinggardener
      January 25, 2020 at 11:53 am #

      I am pretty sure that was at Dublin Botanics. Arbutus unedo is the most commonly sold and grown here. I have seen A. menziesii in the wild there.

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