Synonyms: Arbutus xalapensis var. arizonica Arbutus Gray 1886
Arbutus arizonica is an evergreen tree that grows up to 45 ft (14 m) at a slow rate, and has pinkish-brown bark. The trunks of the tree are gray and checkered, and the branches are reddish with smooth bark. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 1.5 to 3 inches long, 0.5 to 1 inches wide; blades light green, glossy above, pale green below, and smooth. The flowers are urn-shaped, white, and clustered at the branch tips from April to September.The fruit is an orange-red berry. The fruits are edible by humans and used by some indigenous peoples.
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It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Requires a lime-free nutrient-rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil in sun or semi-shade and shelter from cold drying winds, especially when young. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A slow-growing tree.
Seed – best surface sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be soaked for 5 – 6 days in warm water and then surface sown in a shady position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to become dry. 6 weeks cold stratification helps. The seed usually germinates well in 2 – 3 months at 20°c. Seedlings are prone to damp off, they are best transplanted to individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and should be kept well ventilated. Grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in late winter. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November/December in a frame. Poor percentage. Layering of young wood – can take 2 years.
Edible Uses: ....Fruit – raw. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter with a thin sweetish flesh.
Medicinal Uses:….The bitter principles in the bark and leaves can be used as an astringent.
Wood – heavy, soft, close-grained, brittle. It produces a fine grade of charcoal
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