Plant Pick: Compact strawberry tree

  • Wed Feb 1st, 2012 9:37am
  • Life

WHAT: A compact strawberry tree is a four-season evergreen shrub with outstanding flowers, fruit, leaves and bark.

The branching is denser and the growth rate is slower than the typical form.

Small, urn-shaped, whitish-pink flowers are produced from October to December.

WHY PLANT IT: Round ¾-inch knobby fruits gradually ripen to orange-red. The dark green glossy foliage is beautiful, as is the attractive, cinnamon-colored bark.

WHERE: Choose a protected site to ensure fruit every year. Plan in full sun or light or open shade.

HOW: Prune shrubs to accentuate the sculptural qualities of the branching and bark. The upright strawberry shrub, or Arbutus unedo compacta, is drought tolerant when established.

ACTUAL SIZE: The compact shrub will grow to 6 feet high by 6 feet wide in 10 years for the woody plant, or in five years if a perennial or bulb.