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Canary Strawberry Tree15 September 2015
Tree of Golden Fruit
“madroño” – “madroño canario”
Canary Strawberry Tree
The"madroño" fruits, rich in vitamin C, are not comparable with garden strawberries. They have a mealy taste and have already been eaten by the native people of La Palma.
Arbutus canariensis - a species from the Strawberry Tree Group
They have nothing whatsoever to do with garden strawberries.
The tree, found on the central and west islands, is hardly seen growing wild.
Its natural habitat are the laurel forest- and mixed woodland.
The madroño grows up to 15 meters.
Its red-brown bark sheds in large pieces and below a light, greenish trunk appears with a smooth surface.
The long and lance-shaped leaves are light or dark green and serrated.
The madroño is a very decorative tree.
Blossoms appear in the winter.
They are bell-shaped and have a white and green crown with a touch of rose or red colour.
Fruits ripen in fall.
They are also called madroños.
Even in the early days for the native Palmerian people, the Auaritas or Benahoaritas, the fruits served as a source of vitamin C.
Berries reach a diameter of about 3 cm. They are spherical, tubercular and when they are ripe they have an orange or yellow colour.
The fleshy fruits are edible.
They have their own characteristic taste and do not have anything in common with strawberries.
As they mature the taste of the fruits becomes more floury.
Along the access road to the recreation park „La Laguna“ near Barlovento a row of strawberry trees was planted.
Madroño trees require humidity during the summer, however they don't like waterlogging. Trees are best grown on a partial shade spot.
Photos: Ines Dietrich