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Strawberry Tree

Arbutus sp.

Description:

At first, I thought they were lychees from far away. Upon closer inspection, they were much more red and soft. The flowers (photo 2) are pale greenish and resemble the flowers of blueberries. The fruits start out yellow and become vibrant red as they ripen, but you can still see a faint orange-yellow color under the red spikes, so it almost looks as if it is glowing. The flesh inside is a golden color.

Habitat:

At the edge of Shollenberger Park and a parking lot for some office buildings.

Notes:

I am leaning towards Arbutus unedo rather than the native Arbutus menziesii because I can't tell if it was planted or wild. They are edible, but I did not enjoy it very much because there was something gritty inside, perhaps the seeds or just the texture of the flesh. The flavor itself was decent, but the texture was off-putting.

No species ID suggestions

Petaluma, California, USA

Lat: 38.23, Long: -122.60

Spotted on Nov 5, 2018
Submitted on Jan 26, 2019

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