The name of the backyard tree

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by ptjmliao, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. ptjmliao

    ptjmliao Member

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    Hey there,

    Wondering the name of the tree in attached pictures? Is the fruit edible? Thanks.
     

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It's Arbutus unedo, common name strawberry tree. The fruits are edible, though they don't get rave reviews. I just learned from Arbutus unedo - Wikipedia that they're the basis of the alcoholic drink rakia, which is distilled twice to reduce the amount of methanol.
     
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  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The species name unedo means "I eat only one" - though they're not quite that bad, actually, I once managed to eat ten at a sitting ツ
    The red outer skin is rather gritty-textured, and the inside mealy and lacking in flavour, but they're not bitter or astringent or otherwise nasty.
     
  4. ptjmliao

    ptjmliao Member

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    Thanks for the response Michael and Wcutler.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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  6. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, they are both species in the Genus Arbutus. Arbutus unedo is native to Europe, n Africa and w Asia. Arbutus arizonica looks very similar to our Arbutus menziesii. A. menziesii fruit is also edible, but even less desirable. Dry and mealy.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Though I remember seeing a genetic study that showed that the Old World and New World Arbutus species are not each others closest relatives; the Old World Arbutus are more closely related to Arctostaphylos (Manzanitas) than they are to the New World Arbutus. The New World species should really be split off as a new genus, but it hasn't been done yet.

    Edit: found it - http://online.sfsu.edu/parker/pages/respubs/HilemanEtAl2001.pdf
    19 years ago, very odd that nothing has been done about it!
     
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