ARBUTUS ANDRACHNE.--Levant, 1724. This Mediterranean species is of
stout growth, with narrow Laurel-like leaves, reddish deciduous bark,
and greenish-white flowers that are produced freely in May. A hybrid
form, said to have originated between this species and A. Unedo,
partakes in part of the nature of both shrubs, but the flowers are
larger than those of A. Unedo.
A. MENZIESII (_syn A. procera_).--Tall
trawberry Tree. North-west
America, 1827. This is hardy in many parts of these islands,
particularly maritime districts, and is worthy of culture if only for
the large racemose panicles of deliciously-scented white flowers, and
peculiar metallic-green leaves. The fruit is orange-red, and only
about half the size of those of our commonly cultivated species.
A. UNEDO.--Strawberry Tree. Ireland. This is a beautiful evergreen
shrub or small-growing tree, sometimes fully 20 feet high, with
ovate-lanceolate leaves, and clusters of pure white or yellowish-tinged
flowers appearing in September and October. The bright scarlet fruit,
about the size of and resembling a Strawberry, is highly ornamental,
and when borne in quantity imparts to the plant an unusual and very
attractive appearance. Generally speaking, the Arbutus is hardy,
although in inland situations it is sometimes killed to the ground in
severe winters, but, springing freely from the root, the plant soon
becomes re-established. In a young state it suffers too, but after
becoming established and a few feet high, the chances of injury are
greatly minimised. Three well-marked varieties are A. Unedo coccinea
and A. Unedo rubra, bearing scarlet and deep-red flowers, and A. Unedo
microphylla, with much smaller leaves than those of the parent plant.
A. UNEDO CROOMEI differs considerably from the former, in having
larger foliage, larger clusters of reddish-pink flowers, and the bark
of the young shoots of an enticing ruddy, or rather brownish-red
colour. It is a very desirable and highly ornamental plant, and one
that is well worthy of extended culture.
There are several others, to wit A. photiniaefolia, A. Rollissoni, A.
Millerii, with large leaves, and pretty pink flowers, and A.
serratifolia, having deeply serrated leaves. Deep, light loam, if on
chalk all the better, and a fairly warm and sheltered situation, would
seem to suit the Arbutus best.