Strawberry tree (Arbutus) is classified as heather. The evergreen plant has a smooth bark of a brownish hue and a bizarre branch shape. A undersized shrub or small tree grow 3-5 meters. Some species grow to 12 meters.
Leaves are bright green, ovoid. The name of the plant was due to fruits that resemble strawberries. You can eat them. Moreover, the fruits have a strawberry smell. It is allowed to take fruits fresh or to cook jam. When grown at home, their taste will not be so bright. The plant is considered a long-liver. It is able to bear fruit for 200 years.
The flowers are white or yellow. They form drooping panicles, somewhat similar to blueberry flowers.
The plant is considered a real relic. During excavations in Jordan, petrified trunks of strawberries were discovered. Among other things, his description is still present in the writings of Theophastus, who lived in 300 A.D. At the moment, this plant is a symbol of Madrid. It is depicted on the coat of arms of the city, along with a bear eating tree fruits.
One of the key characteristics of the strawberry tree is that it constantly dumps the bark. That is why the plant has many original names: "shameless", "whisper", "spa girl". Getting rid of the bark, the tree makes rustling sounds.
The chemical composition of strawberries is not fully understood.
In the fruits are present:
- vitamin C;
- Vitamin B
- organic acids;
In the leaves:
In the wild, strawberry tree is found in Ireland, Mexico, Tyrol, Western Europe. It prefers rocky slopes.
Like all heather crops, strawberries feel great both on loamy soils and on fertile, drained soils. Frost resistance is average - it can tolerate temperatures up to -15 degrees. He loves sunny areas, drought tolerant.
Benefit and Application
Almost all parts of the plant are used by humans.
- Furniture, watch cases, caskets are made from bark. The wood is strong and heavy, does not rot.
- Flowers are used as a diaphoretic.
- An extract from the bark is actively used for tanning the skin. Previously, she dyed wool for tapestries.
- Roots and leaves are used to treat the genitourinary system.
The healing properties of the plant have been known since the 14th century. At that time, extracts from flowers and leaves were used as a remedy against plague and an antidote.
Strawberry tree is considered an excellent honey plant. However, honey has a bitter taste.
Berries are used to make desserts and alcohol. They are stored in dried and frozen form.
Shelf life is a couple of years.
Due to undemanding conditions, the artubus is often planted in the park area and in gardens.
You can grow a strawberry tree at home from seeds. At the same time, planting stock is stored in the fall, and sowing can be done all year round.
- To begin with, stratification is carried out in a mixture that includes sand (30%) and peat (70%). The process lasts 2 months.
- Then the plants are left in warm water for a week.
- Then you can sow in the soil to a depth of one and a half centimeters.
- Sprouts will appear after a couple of months.
- Watering is done as the soil dries.
Strawberry tree is planted in soil taken from woody plants. In the summer they take it out into the air.
In winter, leave in a cool room. Care is simple. During the growing season, watering is required. Compost feeding is carried out - a couple of times a month. In winter, top dressing is carried out once every 30 days, provided that the room temperature is above 10 degrees.
The strawberry tree grown from seeds reaches a height of only 1 meter. Flowering can be expected in the second year from September. The plant can also be propagated by cuttings obtained from young trees. At the same time, they are first planted in a greenhouse, and only then in the ground. Of the pests of the tree, a spider mite can be noted.
In the middle lane, strawberries are grown only in conservatories or greenhouses. Also, the plant can be used as an auxiliary culture.
This means that in the winter they keep him indoors, and in the summer they take him out in tubs to the street.
Consider the description of plant care in the winter garden or at home.
- The optimum temperature for growing leaves +22 degrees.
- Watering should be moderate, water should be soft.
- Crown pruning is carried out in spring.
- Fertilizing with organic and mineral fertilizers is carried out 2 times, in spring or summer.
- Reproduction occurs in two ways - apical cuttings or seeds.
- In winter, the temperature should be from +3 to +10 degrees. At higher ambient temperatures, the plant can form ugly growths.
- The room containing the strawberry, whether it is a winter garden, a greenhouse or a house, should be periodically ventilated.
- The soil for strawberries can be anything from acidic to alkaline, from dense to loose. When growing a house, you can buy ordinary soil for indoor plants.
Strawberry tree is an ornamental shrub, characterized by unpretentiousness in care. Its fruits are edible and are used as therapeutic agents. Since the plant is thermophilic, it is recommended to grow it in winter gardens, greenhouses and at home. Propagation is done by cuttings and seeds.