Strawberry tree/shrub -This is a striking shrub with its leathery green leaves, making a superb focal point for any garden.The creamy pink heather like flowers appear in autumn followed by plump scarlet red fruits that only fully ripen in the following year, when a new set of flowers emerge.
This is an Irish native species (caithne) of great character with its gnarled stem and brown bark which fissures deeply in old age. The similarity with strawberries is entirely superficial.
The taste is quite horrid. There is still some debate about the meaning of the species name. Some suggest 'I eat one' others suggest 'Inedible'. For all that it is a good amenity tree to have in a collection in mild districts. It does not require peaty acid soil to thrive, but it does prefer the moist west of Britain to the drier eastern regions.
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