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Arbutus unedo grows to 5–10 m tall, rarely up to 15 m, with a trunk diameter of up to 80 cm. The leaves are dark green and glossy, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) broad, with a serrated margin. The hermaphrodite flowers are white (rarely pale pink), bell-shaped, 4–6 mm diameter, produced panicles of 10–30 together in autumn. They are pollinated by bees. The fruit is a red berry, 1–2 cm diameter, with a rough surface, maturing 12 months at the same time as the next flowering. The fruit is edible, though many people find it bland and meally.
Arbutus unedo is widespread in the Mediterranean region. The plant prefers well-drained soils, and low to moderate soil moisture.