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Arbutus menziesii

Pronunciation: Ar-bew-tus men-zees-ee-eye
Family: Ericaceae (heath family)
Common Name: Pacific madrone, madrona, oregon laurel, laurelwood
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30-100'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The white or pinkish flowers, appearing in early summer, are about 1/3 in (0. 8 cm) long, urn-shaped, and borne in loose terminal panicles about 8 in (20. 3 cm) long. The berry-like fruits are bright orange-red, 1/2 in (1. 3 cm) in diameter, with a grainy surface, fleshy pulp, and a thin-walled stone containing several seeds. They take a full year to mature
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
Propagation: By seed. Can also be started from cuttings in summer or layering in spring.
Native to: Pacific madrone occurs in the coast ranges and sierra nevada from vancouver island, british columbia, to southern california, from sea level to 6,000 ft (1829 m). It grows as an understory tree in canyons, coastal dunes, streamsides and on mountain slopes, but the best specimens are in the rich, humid lowlands of the redwood "fog" belt in northwestern california.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - pacific madrone is a beautiful and picturesque tree with its crooked trunk and branches, flaking reddish bark, glossy two-toned leaves and showy red berries. It is rarely cultivated in eastern us, but is a popular ornamental west of the rockies and in the uk. Use it as a specimen in a partly shaded area or in full sun. It is well suited for a woodland or wildlife garden. The fleshy fruits, ripening in september, are important sources of food for several kinds of songbirds and small mammals. Although bland, the fruits were eaten by native americans. Infusions of bark and leaves were used to treat wounds, colds and stomach ailments. Honey bees gather nectar and pollen from the flowers, and madrone is an important source of honey for commercial beekeepers. The bark has been used for tanning. Cabinets are made from the hard, close-grained wood, and the charcoal from it was once used in the manufacture of gunpowder. Care: pacific madrone require acidic, well drained soil. It does best in cool, humid climates, and is poorly suited for areas with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. It may tend to become sprawling and shrubby unless trained to a central leader.  warningmadrone drops leaves, bark and fruit rather consistently, and can be messy on patios or walkways
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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