Information on Strawberry-tree

Common Name: Strawberry-tree
Scientific Name: Arbutus unedo
Irish Name: Caithne
Family Group: Ericaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Strawberry-tree is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This native tree can grow to a height of 10 metres. It has 8mm long, creamy white tinged-green, urn-shaped flowers which have 5 little teeth and 10 stamens. These flowers are borne in drooping panicles on thin, red-brown branches with peeling bark. Short-stalked, evergreen, shiny, dark-green above, somewhat paler below. The leaves are elliptical, toothed and pointed at both ends. Its habitat is oak woods and rocky ground. The fruit - or strawberry - is in fact a 20mm spherical berry which is initially yellow, ripening to reddish orange, and covered in rough warts. This is one of the Lusitanian species and is native only in Counties Sligo, Kerry and Cork. It belongs to the Heather family. 

I first saw this tree at Derrynane, Co Kerry in 1955 and photographed it in 2012. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Strawberry-tree
Strawberry-tree

 This species is classed as NEAR THREATENED in the Red Data List of Vascular Plants 2016.