A surprising look at the plants around us and how they've influenced our world.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The tree with bloody bark
Arbutus andrachne (Eastern strwaberry tree)
Tel Aviv University Botanic Garden. source: Eytan Chamovitz
This evergreen is found in countries bordering the Eastern Mediterranean. It has a distinctive bark that peals off and renews each year, turning from greenish brown for the new bark to a bright red in mature bark. This blood-red color has spurned many legends and in Arabic and Hebrew, the tree is called "killed father". The tree's fruit is edible. Arbutus was mentioned by Virgil, Horace and Ovid.