Arbutus andrachne

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Greek Strawberry Tree
Ericaceae - Arbutus andrachne.JPG
Tree of Arbutus andrachne at Orto Botanico dell'Università di Genova
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Arbutus
Species: A. andrachne
Binomial name
Arbutus andrachne
L. [1]

Arbutus andrachne, commonly called the Greek Strawberry Tree, is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia.


Arbutus andrachne can reach a height of about 12 meters. The smooth bark is exfoliating during the summer, leaving a layer with a pistachio green color, which changes gradually to a beautiful orange brown. The flowers bloom in Spring and are white or yellowish green. Its fruits ripen in Autumn.

Garden history[edit]

Arbutus andrachne was reported by Peter Collinson as having flowered first in England in Dr John Fothergill's extensive botanical garden and greenhouses at Upton House, Essex (now West Ham Park), in 1765.[2]

In literature[edit]

"There was on the road a small tree bearing a fruit somewhat bigger than our largest cherries, and of the shape and taste of strawberries, but a little acid. It is pleasant to eat; but, if a great quantity be eaten, it mounts to the head, and intoxicates. It is ripe in November and December. '
" From the description, it seems to be the arbutus Andrachne [sic] ..." [3]



  1. ^  Species was first described and published in Systema Naturae, ed. 10. 2: 1024. 1759. "Plant Name Details for Arbutus andrachne". IPNI. Retrieved August 5, 2010. "in monte Pentelico Atticae" 
  2. ^ Ann Leighton, American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century: 'For Use or Delight' , 1976:395; Leighton misidentifies it with Arbutus unedo; Georg Dionysius Ehret, "A description of the Andrachne" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 57 (1767)
  3. ^ Thomas Wright (1848). Early Travels in Palestine, comprising the narratives of Arculfus (Bp.); Willibald; Benjamin (of Tudela); Bernard (the Wise); Bertrandon de la Broquière; John Mandeville (Sir.); Sigurd (the crusader); Henry Maundrell.