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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Arbutus unedo 'Compacta'
Pronounced: ar-BU-tus U-nee-doe
Sunset zones: 4-24.
USDA zones: 7-9.
Height: 5 feet (1.5 m) in 10 years.
Width: 5 feet (1.5 m).
Small, white urn-shaped flowers are followed by ¾ inch, orange-red, strawberry-like fruit.
Red, bumpy one-inch fruits. Edible, but tasteless.
Evergreen, oval, glossy leaves.
Compact evergreen shrub.
Sun or partial shade.
Fertile, humus rich soil.
Sow seed as soon as ripe and place in a cold frame.
Cuttings in late summer.
Minimal pruning to remove crossed limbs or to open up crown.
Pests and Disease:
No serious problems.
Rainy Side Notes
The bark is brown with many fissures that shreds off, leaving a fibrous texture that twists and gnarls as it ages. Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' is smaller than the species; behaving like a large shrub, with more contortions in its branching structure. It is a remarkable sight when the shrub is in both fruit and flower. Overall, this evergreen shrub is a workhorse in the garden for all seasons.
Photographed in author's garden.