The large-fruited strawberry tree (ordinary), or ordinary strawberry, is the common name of Arbutus unedo. Learn more about this interesting plant, which pleases with unusual fruits. Find out, how to grow a strawberry tree from seed at home. How to care for a strawberry tree so that the plant grows healthy, blossoms beautifully and has abundant fruit!
Arbutus is an evergreen shrub belonging to the heather family (Ericaceae). It grows slowly, after 10 years reaches 2-3 m in height. It takes the form of a shrub or bonsai. Natural habitat in the Mediterranean region and in southern Ireland.
A distinctive feature of the tree - spherical red fruits resembling wild strawberries. Inside the fruit is dark yellow flesh, dark seeds are hidden in the flesh. The fruits ripen on the tree for 9-12 months. Due to the fact that there are fruits and flowers on the branches at the same time, the strawberry tree is decorative all year round.
Arbutus blooms between October and January. The flowers are white, the appearance resemble blueberry flowers tall. Arbutus is a dioecious plant, meaning that female and male flowers are on different plants. To get the fruit, you need to plant next to each other, at least two trees - a female and a male specimen.
In addition to the attractive appearance, arbutus has medicinal properties, the fruits are edible and rich in vitamin C. The fruits after harvesting from the tree must be eaten within 24 hours, quickly deteriorate. You can collect fruits, painted in red, but still hard, then the fruits can be stored for several days until they become soft. Fruits can be eaten raw or used for jam. In Portugal, Arbutus produces a traditional alcoholic drink called “Medronho”.
Arbutus seeds purchased before sowing must undergo a stratification procedure. The procedure consists in placing the seeds for 4-6 weeks at a temperature of 2-5 ° C. Seeds should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, then closed in a plastic bag. Another way is to mix the seeds with wet sand in a ratio of 1: 3 and wrapping it with cling film. Then the seeds are placed in the fridge. At the final stage of stratification, the seeds burst - a signal that it is time to sow.
Seeds of strawberry tree, preferably sown in peat cups. Seeds should be sown carefully in a peat substrate. The temperature required for seed germination is 20 ° C. After sowing, the cups are placed in a sunny place and once a day they are opened for 15 minutes for ventilation.
During the period of germination it is necessary to keep the soil moist. Do not allow seed to dry out. Seeds can germinate until late spring, be patient. When the first shoots begin to appear, the seedlings are set in a slightly shaded place. When the seedlings are strong enough, they are transplanted into target pots. In the first year of life, young plants must be kept in a semi-shaded place, next year they should be gradually exposed to the sun.
Arbutus belongs to the heather family, preferring an acidic soil, and feels fine in an alkaline substrate. Requires permeable substrate, does not tolerate overflow. It can grow successfully in ordinary garden or compost soil.
Strawberry tree requires a warm and sunny place. In our country, arbutus is grown as an ornamental houseplant. The plant is sensitive to frost, in our climate is not suitable for year-round cultivation in the garden. In summer you can put a pot with a tree on the balcony or in the garden. Winter requires a period of cold to go to rest. The optimum temperature during this period is 5-10 ° C.
The plant is not difficult to grow and suffers environmental pollution. The plant must be protected from the cold northern winds, frost and too wet land in a pot. Unfortunately, even with proper care rarely bears fruits at home. The best place to grow is a greenhouse, greenhouse or winter garden, with high humidity.
From April to October, fertilize with a universal multi-component fertilizer.
Strawberry tree does not require pruning, but tolerates it. Therefore, it is a good material for a bonsai tree.
Strawberry tree - photos, description
All types of strawberry have coral-red, sometimes brown trunk and twisted branches. An interesting feature of arbutus is that every year it changes the bark: the old one gradually falls off, smooth light trunks can be seen under it, which is why the people called this tree “Shameless”. Leaves are leathery, saturated green color. Blooms with white flowers, lanterns, gathered in panicles. The fruits of the strawberry tree are round, after ripening - bright red color, similar to strawberries (you can see this by simply looking at the photo of the plant).
Among all species of arbutus, two are widely distributed: large-fruited strawberry (arbutus unedo) and small-fruited strawberry or red (arbutus andrachne). The plant is widely used by pharmacists, because it contains various useful chemicals. Strawberry berries are also popular in cooking due to their interesting sweet-sour taste.
Like other members of its kind, arbutus unedo prefers fertile soils rich in nutrients. Better roots and grows in open sunny areas. Watering requires moderate but regular. Strawberry large-fruited more than other species are grown for domestic decor, that is, as a houseplant. The plant is non-frost resistant, so young seedlings for the winter are transferred to closed spaces.
Wild representatives of small strawberry strawberry are found on the southern coast of Crimea. Among the local population, the plant is also known under the name "Spa". Its fruits do not have such a pronounced taste as the berries arbutus unedo, but are also used by cooks. Having been on holiday in the Crimea, you can try to collect and dry the strawberry fruits yourself, then to get high-quality seed for planting and reproduction at home.
Strawberry tree at home
In the open ground, a strawberry tree in the Moscow region is unlikely to grow - the plant is very thermophilic, the local cold winters with sudden frosts can simply destroy the tree. But it is quite possible to sow and plant strawberries at home. It is much easier to immediately buy a sapling ready for planting, create favorable conditions for growth and ensure the proper care:
- timely watering,
- periodic fertilizing with organic fertilizer,
- pruning small, weak shoots to form a beautiful lush crown.
Buy strawberry tree seeds
If you still want to grow any kind of arbutus from seed at home, you need to know where to buy them. You can search for stores in the city that specialize in selling seeds of exotic plants, but it’s much easier nowadays to buy the necessary seeds in the online store. First, view the desired plant in the photo, order and get it in a convenient way for you. Here are a few online stores where you can buy arbutus seeds:
- Becker is a well-known online store selling elite seeds, seedlings, bulbs from the best breeding companies in the world. They have a very large selection of planting material, means for the protection and fertilization of plants. Site directory has more than 2000 items. Delivery is made by mail across all Russia. Often there are profitable promotions.
- Adenium Siberia is a large online store of exotic species of plants and seeds, which offers free advice on cultivation. The office is located in Novosibirsk. Provides several options for delivery: by mail, shuttle bus or train through the conductor. It is possible to pay in any convenient way: in cash upon receipt of goods, by bank transfer from a card, or from a QIWI e-wallet.
- Dutch Seeds is a major online seed store that operates from the Netherlands. They promise high quality planting material from world famous breeding companies. Send orders by mail worldwide. Prices on the site only in euros. The cost of their goods is significantly more expensive than their Russian counterparts. For the delivery will have to pay 15.90 euros.
Strawberry tree price
Strawberry seeds offer a few Russian sites, but to find them is quite real. The price of a strawberry tree varies slightly, but if you search, you can order planting material is relatively inexpensive. Here is a small table for comparing the cost of arbutus seeds in several online stores.
The strawberry tree has a very ancient history. Its petrified branches were found in Jordan. It is mentioned in written sources before our era. Then it was used for dyeing wool for making clothes and household items.
The strawberry tree is distributed in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region (Abkhazia and the South Coast of the Crimea), in the south and west of Europe, including Ireland and Southern Switzerland, America. A large number of species grows in Mexico. Strawberry tree withstands small frosts, but only for a short time. It grows along the banks of rivers and at the forest edge. Grow it in gardens rather for decoration than for production needs.
Pollen of strawberry flowers bees are processed into bitter honey. From the berries they prepare wine and aromatic vodka, they make jam, candied fruits, syrups. Eat fresh, but in small doses. But this does not apply to strawberries, which are grown in the apartment. It performs, rather, a decorative function.
The extract from parts of the plant is used to process and dye the skin. It contains the tannin substance, which not only impart astringency to the leaves, but also scares the animals who have tried to eat the stalks of the plant.
In medicine, they are used to treat diseases of the urinary system and to protect against germs.
Dirty white wood, resistant to rotting. It is highly valued and is used to make gift boxes.
An interesting feature of strawberry wood: it is poorly exposed to fire. Therefore, the strawberry tree is used in areas of growth for the restoration of forests after a fire.
Calorie fruits about 30 kcal. But there is evidence that, used in large quantities, they act as a dope. They have a big headache. Immature fruits cause nausea and vomiting.
Seedlings can be bought in the botanical gardens. Strawberry tree does not like our continental climate. And this is not surprising, because with its thin skin it is impossible to tolerate severe frosts.
Therefore, in the latitudes north of the Crimea and the Caucasus, it should only be grown in pots, if possible in the spring bringing it to fresh air and setting it in places protected from the wind. In the colder season, trees can be placed in winter gardens or warm balconies.
The strawberry tree loves light, but in hot weather the sun's rays can cause leaf burns. Therefore, it should be pritenyat from their impact.
The room where the earthen tree grows, you need to often ventilate, giving access to fresh air. And in the summer it feels better outside.
Young tree is demanding on soil moisture. It is watered abundantly during active growth, flowering and fruiting. In winter, they do it rarely. When the tree grows, it ceases to need frequent watering.
The optimum temperature for him in the summer of 18-25 degrees, in winter from 3 to 10 degrees. If during a period of rest the temperature in the room is high, then the leaves of the strawberry tree are drawn out from a lack of light and become ugly.
Pruning does not hold much, because the tree already grows very slowly. In the spring, remove some weak twigs.
What does not make any claims strawberry tree, so it is to the soil. It can be dense and loose, have a different level of acidity. For cultivation in the home is quite suitable universal soil from the store.
In winter, the strawberry tree is at rest and does not need any additional feeding. In the spring it is fertilized with manure. In the summer, they feed not more than once every three weeks, making universal fertilizers with microelements in liquid form.
Strawberry tree: photo
Botanical name: Strawberry tree, or Strawberry, or Arbutus. Genus Strawberry tree, heather family.
Homeland strawberry tree: America, Western Europe.
The soil: fertile, nutritious, drained.
Maximum height: 5 m.
Average life expectancy: more than 100 years.
Plant description strawberry tree: photo of fruits
Strawberry tree belongs to the genus of evergreens. All its species are distinguished by slow growth, smooth, reddish or brown bark and curved branches.
This culture is a low, broad-leaved shrub or undersized tree with a height of 3-5 m. Some species of strawberry can reach up to 12 m in height.
The trunk of the tree is orange or reddish. The bark changes annually, while making a characteristic rustling sound, for which the plant is called "whisper". Leaves alternate, leathery, entire, up to 8 cm long, dark green.
The flowers are white or yellowish, gathered in erect and hanging panicles, resemble blueberry flowers. Blossoms in May.
Fruits are multi-seeded, rounded pitted, covered with small growths. Powdery, sweet and sour pulp. In taste, color and consistency, it resembles garden strawberries. The pulp contains small seeds. Arbutus berries are rich in vitamin C. Ripe strawberry fruits that have lain for some time have a sweet taste and a pleasant aroma.
The strawberry tree is grown from seeds and with the help of cuttings.
Where does a strawberry tree grow?
Where does a strawberry tree grow? In the wild, this individual grows in Mexico, America, Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Southern Switzerland, Tyrol, Ireland. Settles on hills, stony slopes.
Like other members of the Heather family, this plant develops well on fertile, nutrient-rich, drained soil, and on heavy loams. Prefers open, sunlit areas. Drought resistant. Does not need abundant watering. Frost resistance is average. Maintains temperature to - 15 ° C. In winter, young seedlings should be covered.
Berries are consumed fresh, as well as used to make desserts and alcoholic beverages. Store dried and frozen. The shelf life of dried fruit in conditions of maturation at room temperature is 1-2 years. For longer storage berries are placed in an airtight container. 100 g of fruit contains 28 kcal.
All parts of this plant are used in medicine and pharmacology. Sweatshop flowers are made from flowers. Leaves, roots and bark are used in diseases of the genitourinary system. The bark extract is used for tanning leather and is also used as a brown dye. Furniture, turning products, caskets, souvenirs, watch cases and much more are made of wood.
Arbutus is valued as a decorative culture. Due to its unpretentiousness to the conditions of growth and attractiveness, it is an ideal plant for planting in gardens and in city parks.
Strawberry is a good honey plant, but honey obtained from its nectar has a bitter taste.
The people arbutus, annually dumping the bark, called "shameless." This characteristic is due to the fact that trees growing in a hot, humid tropical climate are attacked by plants - parasites (epiphytes), who are trying to settle in the cracks of the bark. Therefore, the strawberry tree is released from the bark and does not allow epiphytes to take root.
It is noteworthy that the first mention of the strawberry was found in the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Theophastus. Even then, people were familiar with the features and properties of this tree.
This plant serves as food for the largest Israeli butterfly Charaxes jasius. She lays eggs on it, and caterpillars hatch there after a while.
The image of arbutus can be seen on the coat of arms of Madrid. The bronze bear at the strawberry tree is a symbol of the city. This image is present on various urban sites. According to the Madrid old-timers, a whole grove of these beautiful trees was once broken here, where bears could often be found.
The photos of the strawberry tree presented below in the photo gallery convey the amazing beauty of this unusual plant.
Photo gallery: strawberry tree (click on image to enlarge):
The strawberry tree or strawberry tree - Arbutus (Arbutus) comes from the Vereskov family, the main habitat of which is located on the American continent and in the western regions of Europe.
This is a small plant, in the form of a bush or small tree - a maximum of 10 meters tall. Его крона из изогнутых ветвей, покрытых широкими зелеными листами расходится из ствола, покрытого корой коричневого цвета, с красноватым или оранжевым оттенком. Растение, ежегодно сменяет кору новой, издавая при этом особый звук, напоминающий человеческий шепот.Therefore, the Strawberry tree is sometimes called whisper.
As a rule, the plant does not exceed 3 meters tall, its foliage, alternately located on the stems, has a dense, leathery surface, smooth edges and a dark green shade. The plant blooms in spring - in the month of May, covering the crown with white or yellowish inflorescences such as erect panicles.
The tree bears fruit, producing fruits in the form of stone trees of almost round shape. At the same time, small growths are formed on the surface - peas, making the fruit look like strawberries or strawberries. The taste of the fruit of the tree is also similar to strawberries.
About 14 species of strawberries are well known, but the most popular are the following two:
- Arbutus unedo - Strawberry tree. It has great fruit,
- Arbutus andrachne - The strawberry tree is red, small-fruited.
For amateur breeding often choose the first type of plant - Arbutus large-fruited. This species is quite thermophilic and does not tolerate frost, so in our latitudes it can be grown only under the shelter of rooms heated in winter. Best of all, the plant feels in large winter gardens and greenhouses, but its cultivation in the conditions of an apartment or a residential building is quite acceptable.
In the latter case, the unusual beauty of the Strawberries is especially appreciated. Its branches create an intricate structure, fancy crowns, covered with foliage with a noticeable emerald sheen, and at the time of flowering, Arbutus of the Rubra type is especially beautiful.
Plant care rules
At home, this plant is grown mainly in pots or pots. At the same time, it is very carefully protected from frost. It is best to grow a tree from a ready seedling, but you can use a cutting and even plant and germinate the seed of ripened fruit.
Planting a strawberry tree from seed provides for a specific sequence of actions:
- Prepare a nutrient substrate. It should include 70% of peat, preferably top and 30% of washed river sand. In such a composition, previously it is slightly moisturized for 2 months, the stratification of seeds is carried out. They must be collected from the ripe fruit,
- After stratification, the seeds are soaked in water at room temperature for a period of 7 days and planted into the ground to a depth of about one and a half centimeters,
- The flowerpot with the planted seeds is placed in a shaded, warm place and await the seedling shoot,
- When shoots appear, as a rule, this happens around the third month, they are regularly watered with settled water, and upon reaching sufficient growth, the seedlings can be divided and planted in separate pots.
If the surrounding air is dry, during the growth of shoots they should be regularly sprayed. In this case, you need to make sure that excess moisture does not fall into the ground. Best of all, at the time of spraying cover it with polyethylene or in any other way.
A feature of the plant can be called its unpretentiousness to the quality of the soil. The strawberry tree grows well, both in acidic and alkaline conditions, in loose or dense, but it is still better to ensure normal drainage. Perfect soil from the store, with the characteristics - universal.