Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’

compact strawberry tree

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Compact strawberry tree is a four-season evergreen shrub with outstanding flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark. The branching is denser and the growth rate is slower than the typical form. Small, urn-shaped, whitish-pink flowers are produced from October to December. Round, ¾-inch, knobby fruits gradually ripen to orange-red and are often in color when the shrub is in full flower. Choose a protected site to ensure fruit every year. The dark green glossy foliage is beautiful, as is the attractive, cinnamon-colored bark. Prune shrubs to accentuate the sculptural qualities of the branching and bark.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light or open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: autumn flowers & fruit; year-round attractive foliage & bark

Wildlife Associations: bees, birds

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, Salix purpurea ‘Nana’, Kalmia latifolia ‘Minuet’, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, Cryptomeria japonica ‘Cristata’

Great Color Contrasts: white, red, burgundy

Great Color Partners: Green, Bronze

Culture Notes
This versatile shrub tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions including sand and clay, but it must have a well-drained location. The growth is best in full sun to open shade and is drought tolerant once established. Foliage and flowers may be damaged in unusually cold winters, but it will recover in the spring. Plants in protected locations are more reliable fruit producers.