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.


  1. Plenty of these rare trees in Harashim to grow well they need to live with oak , i had to replant 5 of these while building the house and they are hard to transplant , so far 4 have suceeded. still have 3 on the plot.

  2. Replanting trees is hard - you have to take the "bonzai" approach. This means there's always an equilibrium between roots and branches. When you uproot a tree you break and loose most of the roots. Therefore you also need to cut back most of the branches when transplanting a tree.

  3. These Arbutus andrachne fruits are not only edible, they're excellent! Moreover, we don't have too many wild edible fruits in Israel, and these are a readily available late Autumn treat in our Mediterranean woods, at this time of the year when the vegetation is at its driest and saddest.

  4. Thanks Daniel for the comment. You are correct. In the absence of blueberries, Arbutus andrachne fruits are a treat!