Common Name: Arbutus
Origin/Ecology: Native to western coastal areas of North America, from British Columbia to California
Habit: Up to 30 m tall, usually with a crooked or leaning trunk that divides into several twisting upright branches in an irregularly rounded crown.
Leaves: Dark and glossy but pale underneath, 7 to 12 cm long, thick, with leathery texture. Evergreen.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Flowers and Fruit: Dense clusters of urn-shaped white, waxy flowers drooping at the ends of twigs in April or May. Fruit is berry-like, 7 mm across, and bright reddish-orange, with a peel-like surface texture.
Bark: Bark is thin, smooth, and reddish-brown, peeling in thin flakes or strips to expose younger, smooth, greenish to cinnamon-red bark underneath.
Water Use, Soil: Prefers sites that lack moisture, such as those with rocky or rapidly drained soils.
Exposure: Full sun.
Landscape Uses: Good for erosion control on disturbed sites, food for wildlife, ornamental.
Limitations: Not tolerant of overwatering.