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Arbutus menziesii

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ar-BYOO-tus men-ZEE-see-eye
Description

Madrona is a broadleaf evergreen native to the Pacific coast from British Columbia to California on dry rocky slopes and bluffs. I spring they produce sprays of white bell-shaped flowers that are followed by round fruit that matures to red. The bark is quite stunning as the bark peels revealing a coppery surface. They are difficult to transplant and can be slow to establish.

This tree requires very well-drained, low fertility, dry soils in full sun to partial shade. It should not be over-watered or fertilized. Use Madrona as a specimen, for erosion control and for year-round interest.

This tree will most likely do best in NC in the mountains due to the heat and humidity of coastal and Piedmont areas.

Susceptible to several diseases including Phytophthora, cankers, leaf spot, and root rot.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#full sun#white flowers#tree#broadleaf evergreen#spring flowers#winter interest#red fruits#exfoliating bark#dry soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#full sun#white flowers#tree#broadleaf evergreen#spring flowers#winter interest#red fruits#exfoliating bark#dry soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Arbutus
    Species:
    menziesii
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    California Indians ate the fruit raw and cooked. The bark used medicinally. The wood used for making shuttles.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western coast of N. America
    Distribution:
    British Columbia south to California.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    dryish soil
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    0.3-inch red fruit with a barb that persists into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Description:
    White bell-shaped flowers on 3- to 9-in. panicles in May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Waxy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2 to 6-inch long and 1.5-3 inches wide oval, alternate, simple, waxy leaves. Glossy green above and paler underneath with entire margins.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    Papery cinnamon, red-brown exfoliating bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Smooth reddish-brown bark
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Messy