Arbutus menziesii - Pacific Madrone

Arbutus menziesii - Pacific Madrone

Image Credit: Brewbooks


Common name(s): Pacific Madrone, bearberry, strawberry tree, madrono, madrona, arbutus

General bloom time: flowers March-June; berries mature in the autumn

Identification: bark is reddish-brown and when mature it peels away from the trunk; grows to heights up to 40 meters

Leaves: broad-leaf simple, alternate, evergreen, shiny and large

Flowers: small flowers (6 mm), pink, fragrant, and urn-shaped

Fruit: small berries (0.6-1.2 cm in diameter), round, bright orange to red with many seeds

Habitat: can withstand drought, temperature extremes, shade and elevation so they are able to survive in a number of habitats; generally found in poor soil with poor water retention during the summer months; often in rocky outcrops.

Ecology: birds eat the berries, hummingbirds feed on the nectar, supports beneficial insects.


Image Credit: bobrpics

Fun Facts:

-      Can live 400-500 years

-      Bark was used as medicine in tea to soothe stomach-aches and the leaves as ointment for cuts

-      The bark can be used to tan leather

References: Seagrave, John. “The Biography of the Pacific Madrone.” 11-Dec-2002 1-9. 18-Jan-2008.