Arbutus unedo 'October Festival'


Common Name: Strawberry Bush 


Family: Ericaceae

Origin: Mediterranean

Type: Evergreen shrub or tree

Size: 6 to 8 ft. high and wide.

Flowers: Small clusters of deep pink flowers and yellow to red fruit fall and winter; leaves dark green on red stems; textured bark on twisting branches.

Uses: Containers, color and shape accent, background, screen, slopes, near oak trees, salt spray, wind, heat. Fire resistive.

Wildlife: Habitat, fruit and seeds for birds, squirrels, etc.; nectar for hummingbirds. Deer resistant.

Soil: Tolerates slightly acid or slightly alkaline soil; prefers well-drained.

Water: Low to medium.

Sun: Full sun; needs some shade in desert.

Pruning: Needed in young plants to establish shape and character.

Pests & Diseases: Arbutus leaf spot (rare).

Notes: Native to dry foothills, canyons, and slopes along the Mediterranean Sea. Fruit is edible. Tolerates wind and salt spray. Compact varieties: ‘Elfin King’, ‘Compacta’, ‘Oktoberfest’ (deep pink flowers). Hardy to 10° F.