Arbutus callicarpa Buch
Arbutus longifolia Andrews
Arbutus procera Sol. ex DC.
Common Name: Canary Madrona
Cultivated, fruiting plant in La Palma
Photograph by: Meneerke bloem
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Arbutus canariensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 10 metres tall.
The fruit is gathered from the wild and used locally as a food. The plant is grown as an ornamental, valued for its evergreen leaves, flowers and fruits.
The tree is known from approximately 10 subpopulations, probably containing no more than 10,000 individuals. Numbers appear to be stable, though declining water availability and fires may affect some areas. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Canary Isles - the islands of Tenerife, Gomera, Hierro and Gran Canaria.
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Arbutus canariensis is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperate zone, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Requires a lime-free nutrient-rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil in sun or semi-shade and shelter from cold drying winds, especially when young[
The fruit is made into a sweetmeat[
Seed - best surface sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be soaked for 5 - 6 days in warm water and then surface sown in a shady position in a greenhouse[
]. Do not allow the compost to become dry. 6 weeks cold stratification helps[
]. The seed usually germinates well in 2 - 3 months at 20°c[
]. Seedlings are prone to damp off[
], they are best transplanted to individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and should be kept well ventilated. Grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts[
Basal cuttings in late winter[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, late autumn in a frame. Poor percentage[
Layering of young wood - can take 2 years[