Arbutus unedo L.

Irish Strawberry Tree

Sp. Pl. 395 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tall shrub or tree to c. 10 m high, young stems with spreading, gland-tipped hairs, bark flaky. Leaves ovate to obovate, 3–9 cm long, 15–35 mm wide, thickish, dark green and glabrous above, paler and sometimes with scattered fine bristles along the midvein below; margins serrate (rarely entire). Flowers in racemes or panicles 2–9 cm long; bracts acute, 2–5 mm long, continuous with rachis; sepals broad-deltoid, obtuse, c. 1.5 mm long; corolla 8–10 mm long, waxy, white or pinkish, with rounded, strongly recurved lobes 0.5–1 mm long. Berry orange-red when ripe, 13–20 mm diam., the skin roughened by conical tubercles. Seeds flattened-ellipsoid, somewhat winged. Flowers May–Aug.

*CVU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HSF, *VVP. Also naturalised SA, Tas. Native to southern Europe, Ireland. Occasionally naturalizing from cultivated plants (e.g Halls Gap, Creswick, Hurst-bridge, Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula), probably from bird-dispersed seed, but large infestations in native vegetation appear to be unknown.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Ericaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-29
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Ericales
family Ericaceae
genus Arbutus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Arbutus unedo in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Arbutus unedo in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory