Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
The elegant strawberry tree is best distinguished by its highly ornamental fruits that turn from gold to red. It is a broad, upright large shrub or small tree native to southern European and the eastern Mediterranean with an adjunct population in Ireland. Like many members of the heath family (Ericaceae), it favors moist, rich, slightly acid soil but will also tolerate summer drought. Mature specimens adopt an appealing vase-shaped habit and gnarled branches.
Fully evergreen, ovate leaves of dark green cover the tree. These have a leathery texture and may be susceptible to sun scald and wind desiccation in winter. The mature stems are lined with gray bark that peels away to reveal a nice cinnamon brown layer beneath. Bloom time is variable depending on geographic location, but most flower in autumn. The pendulous clusters of urn-shaped flowers are creamy white and pollinated by bees. They give rise to the colorful "strawberry" fruits the following autumn. It is not uncommon for plants to have flowers and fruit at the same time. The fruits are edible but don't taste good.
Strawberry tree grows best in full to partial sun and fertile soil with a slightly acid to neutral pH. It is quite drought tolerant once established. Growth tend to be better where summers are dry and winter weather is cool and wet. Shelter from winter winds and in more arid regions provide more shade and irrigation in autumn. Strawberry tree is a good choice for Oceanside plantings and makes a lovely specimen plant for yard and garden.
There are many desirable cultivated varieties to choose from, particularly compact forms. The dwarf selections 'Elfin King' and 'Compacta' are reliable and attractive as is the dwarf, pink-flowered 'Oktoberfest.'
9 - 6
7 - 10
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
20'-25' / 6.1m - 7.6m
Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Turkey
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
White, Light Pink
Orange, Orange Red, Sienna, Gray
Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Shade Trees
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