Arbutus menziesii

 

Common name: Pacific madrone (or madroño, madroña, strawberry tree)[1]

Scientific name: Arbutus menziesii**

Native American names: Salinan, Miwok, Pomo (Californian coast)[2]

Plant family: Ericaceae[3][4][5]

 

Description: Pacific madrone trees are evergreens with peeling reddish bark that can grow to 30 meters, but usually grow to shorter heights depending on their environment. The alternate and oval leaves are about 15 cm long and are dark and waxy green on top and lighter green below. The trees have hanging clusters of white flowers that turn into bright small red berries. Pacific madrone trees are habitats for many birds.[6]

 

Habitat and Range: Arbutus menziesii grows at low to middle elevations in dry soils that have low-nitrogen levels. It is often found near Douglas firs and Garry oaks up and down the Pacific coast of the United States of America and Canada.[7][8]

Historical and Contemporary Uses [9]

Native Americans use the berries to make cider, use the bark to make tea that helps cure colds and sore throats, and the leaves can also be chewed to reduce stomache and cramp pain. The bark is very easy to obtain for making tea because it peels off, however reaching it can be difficult.

**Arbutus menziesii receives the “menziesii” part of its name from a European explorer named Menzies.


[1] Immel, Diana L. “Plant Guide: Pacific Madrone.” USDA: NRCS. USDA, 30 May 2006. Web. 16 Oct 2011. <http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_arme.pdf>.

[2] Immel, Diana L. “Plant Guide: Pacific Madrone.” USDA: NRCS. USDA, 30 May 2006. Web. 16 Oct 2011. <http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_arme.pdf>.

[3] “PLANTS Profile: Arbutus menziesii.” United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service. USDA, October 2011. Web. 15 Oct 2011. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARME>.

[4] “Pictures – Pacific Madrone.” Best Pictures of Pacific Madrone. Google Image Search, 2011. Web. 16 Oct 2011. <http://lh3.ggpht.com/-_q2JM5SwT8Y/SvYE16hhmeI/AAAAAAAANqk/QVR3v-fQ0Yk/Madrone_Pacific_4.jpg>.

[5] Mark W. Skinner @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 October 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

[6] Pojar, Jim, and Andy Mackinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Vancouver, B.C.: Lone Pine Publishing, 1994. 49. Print.

[7] Immel, Diana L. “Plant Guide: Pacific Madrone.” USDA: NRCS. USDA, 30 May 2006. Web. 16 Oct 2011. <http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_arme.pdf>.

[8] “PLANTS Profile: Arbutus menziesii.” United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service. USDA, October 2011. Web. 15 Oct 2011.

[9] Immel, Diana L. “Plant Guide: Pacific Madrone.” USDA: NRCS. USDA, 30 May 2006. Web. 16 Oct 2011. <http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_arme.pdf>.