Information about Arbutus canariensis

Arbutus canariensis, also known as the Canary Island strawberry tree or Madroño, is a species of evergreen tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Canary Islands and Madeira. It is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 10-15 meters tall.

The tree has a smooth reddish-brown bark that peels in thin flakes, revealing a greenish layer underneath. The leaves are dark green, glossy, and leathery, with toothed margins. The flowers are white or pink, bell-shaped, and appear in clusters in the autumn and winter. The fruit is a bright red berry that is edible, although it has a tart and somewhat astringent taste.

Arbutus canariensis is a popular ornamental tree because of its attractive bark, foliage, and fruit. It is also valued for its wood, which is hard, dense, and durable, making it suitable for furniture, tool handles, and decorative objects. The tree is also used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including urinary tract infections, arthritis, and inflammation.

In its natural habitat, Arbutus canariensis is found in woodlands and scrublands, often growing in rocky or volcanic soils. The tree is adapted to the Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. It is tolerant of drought and salt spray, making it a useful plant for coastal gardens.

However, Arbutus canariensis is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world, including Australia, where it has spread rapidly and outcompeted native vegetation. Therefore, it is important to consider the potential ecological impacts of planting this species in new locations.