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Strawberry tree, Madroño

Arbutus unedo

Description:

The strawberry tree is a shrub or small tree that reaches 8 m in height if it is allowed to grow. It has a dense and globose crown that generates a lot of shade. The bark is reddish-brown, cracked and scaly, which comes off in small plates, and the young twigs are reddish, although when they mature they turn grayish. The leaves are persistent, simple, alternate, lanceolate, of an intense green color, shiny on the upper side and dull on the underside, 8-10 cm long by 3-4 cm wide and with a serrated margin. The flowers are white or light pink, appear in hanging clusters in late fall or early winter, and are shaped like a closed bell. The fruits when ripe have a granular appearance, lack skin, are fleshy, rounded, 2-3 cm, red or intense orange on the outside - hence the popular saying "More red than a strawberry tree" - and yellow-orange inside. Therefore, in winter you can see the strawberry tree with flowers and ripe fruits at the same time.

Habitat:

The strawberry tree is a fundamentally Mediterranean species that is also distributed by the Atlantic islands of Ireland, the Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde. In the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands it appears in almost all the provinces, but it is scarce or absent in the more continental and colder areas of the interior. 402 / 5000 Resultados de traducción We find it from sea level to 1200 m, as long as the frosts are not excessive. Although it prefers well-developed and cool soils, it sometimes appears on stony ground. On the other hand, the protection offered by the canopy of its crown and its fruits in winter, make the strawberry tree a very important plant in ecosystems as a refuge and food for various species of fauna.

Notes:

The fruit of the strawberry tree when ripening ferments and contains a certain amount of alcohol, so its excessive consumption can cause drunkenness or headaches.

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eulalia rubio
Spotted by
eulalia rubio

Sagunt, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain

Spotted on Mar 7, 2021
Submitted on Mar 7, 2021

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