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(Plant heights are given at maturity)

arbutus menziesii tree seeds and plantsarbutus menziesii blooms seeds and plants

Arbutus menziesii is a native North American tree known by the common names Pacific Madrone, Madrone, Madrona, Oregon Laurel, and Bearberry (not to be confused with Arctostaphylos).  The trees occur naturally in areas of dry rocky slopes and shallow soils and are drought tolerant.  The trees are attractive additions to the landscape forming vase shaped multiple trunked specimens up to 100 feet with gnarled trunks with showy panicles of creamy white flowers in the spring followed by orange red berries.   The bark sheds annually to exposed patches of a terra cotta color. Growth is very slow.

Berries are high in tannins and are edible, raw or cooked, and are used to treat stomach problems.  The bark has been used to treat colds.  The fruits make excellent wildlife forage.

Arbutus should be planted in a permanent place while still small (two years old or younger), for they dislike being moved.  Any necessary pruning should be done during the summer, after the tree flowers, but it is best to allow the tree to form naturally.  Propagation can be accomplished  by sowing seed or from layering lower branches.  Seeds should be collected in October and sown  in a sandy peat mixture and allowed to stratify naturally, where the seedlings will emerge in spring.  Artificial stratification can be achieved by placing seeds in a plastic bag with a handful of moist peat and kept at 50F until germination.  Some success has been reported with layering lower branches in winter or early spring, where they are left undisturbed until the following spring, then separated from the parent plant.

Seeds collected in the fall can be stored at room temperature for up to two years.

The trees are hardy to -20F (-28.8C)

#1632    Packet  $32.00   Approximately 100 seeds
#B4z-1632    Bulk seed 4oz  $65.00    Approximately 580 seeds
#B1-1632    Bulk seed 1 lb  $130.00  Approximately 2350 seeds


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