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Madrone
Arbutus menziesii
  
About Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) 31 Nurseries Carry This Plant The Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), is a species of arbutus found on the west coast of North America, from British Columbia (chiefly Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands) to California (mainly in the Puget Sound, Oregon Coast Range and California Coast Ranges but also scattered on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains). It becomes rare south of Santa Barbara County, with isolated stands south to Palomar Mountain, San Diego County and northern Baja California, Mexico. It is also known as the Madroo, Madroa, Bearberry, or Strawberry Tree. In British Columbia it is simply referred to as Arbutus. Its species name was given it in honour of the Scots naturalist Archibald Menzies who noted it during George Vancouver's voyage of exploration. It is a broadleaf evergreen tree with rich orange-red bark that peels away on the mature wood, leaving a greenish, silvery appearance that has a satin sheen and smoothness. The exposed wood sometimes feels cool to the touch. In spring, it bears sprays of small bell-like flowers, and in autumn, red berries. The berries dry up and have hooked barbs that latch onto larger animals for migration. It is common to see madrones of about 10-25 meters in height, but in the right conditions the trees reach up to 30 meter. In best conditions madrones can also reach a thickness of 5-8 feet at its trunk, much like an oak tree. The leaves are thick, oval, 7-15 centimeter long and 4-8 centimeter broad, and arranged spirally; they are glossy dark green above and a lighter, more grayish green beneath, with an entire margin. The leaves brown during the fall season and detach from the branches.

Madrone is a particularly beautiful plant, but it grows very slowly in the southern, drier part of its range, where it typically grows to only 25 feet. In the northern, moister part of its range, it can grow quickly to 100 feet. Plant in a shady or partially shaded location, and avoid direct summer water. It prefers north facing slopes especially in drier locations.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree

Size
Size
15 - 100 ft tall
5 - 25 ft wide

Form
Form
Rounded, Upright Columnar

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Red

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Hummingbirds, many birds

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Heavy. Tolerates Serpentine Soil. Soil PH: 5 - 7

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: 2-3 mos. stratification.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
3, 4, 5*, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Shady forests with Redwood, Pine or Fir; also Foothill Woodland and Oak Woodland. Prefers north slopes and well draining soil

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 11.8" - 133.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 3.87", Coldest Month: 33.6" - 53.8", Hottest Month: 56.8" - 78.0", Humidity: 0.01" - 25.10", Elevation: 10" - 6292"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Bearberry, Madroa, Madrono, Madroo, Pacific Madrone, Strawberry Tree


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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