With knobbly fruit that are all dimpled and uneven Arbutus unedo is a group of trees and shrubs that fruit with strawberry like red berries.
Variegated Arbutus unedo
Variegated shrubs such as ‘Ukigumo’ are successful grown in shade.
Fruiting is less dominant on variegated forms. The round knobby fruits gradually ripen to strawberry red.
The evergreen glossy foliage can be quite beautiful. The cinnamon-colored bark is also attractive.
Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’, Killarney Strawberry Tree from Thompson Morgan
‘This striking shrub makes a superb focal point for year-round interest. Its leathery, evergreen foliage and peeling, cinnamon brown bark form a superb backdrop for the clusters of small, white, urn-shaped flowers in autumn. The dainty blooms give way to scarlet red fruits that only fully ripen in the following year, as a new set of flowers emerge. The edible fruits of Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’ have a sharp aftertaste when eaten raw, but can be made into jams and preserves for a sweeter, guava-like flavour. This neat, compact variety is an ideal specimen shrub for a sheltered position. Although perfectly hardy once mature, Arbutus will appreciate a layer of fleece for winter protection when young. ‘
Arbutus andrachneor the Greek Strawberry Tree is less hardy in the UK as it is native to the Mediterranean.
Arbutus berries by GerryT CC BY 2.0
Arbutus unedo by Xevi V CC BY-NC-SA 2.0