Arbutus canariensis Duham.
Half hardy shrub or small tree with oblong to lance-shaped leaves, to 12cm long, and erect terminal panicles of pale green, often pink-tinted flowers, about 1cm long, in summer, followed by warty, roundish fruit. To 9m. [RHSD, Hortus].
Horticultural & Botanical History
‘The specimen of this plant, preserved in the Banksian Herbarium, was discovered by the late Mr. Francis Masson, growing in the woods in the Island of Teneriffe, where it forms a tallish tree. […] The colour of the flowers, as in Arbutus Unedo, varies from greenish-white to red. The specimen from which our drawing was made, was communicated by Mr. Whitley, from Fonthill, last May. It flowered also at the same time at Messrs. Malcolm and Sweet’s Nursery, at Stockwell-Common, but did not produce any fruit. Mr Masson observes, that in the Canary Isles the berries are made into a sweet-meat.’ [BM t.1577/1813]. ABR pl.664/1815.
History at Camden Park
First listed in a handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue although not included in the 1857 catalogue. [MP A2947a]. It may have been a very early introduction to the gardens as Edward Macarthur provided seeds or plants to the Sydney Botanic Garden in 1823 [RBGS AB].
Published Jan 04, 2009 - 10:48 AM | Last updated Mar 30, 2010 - 04:43 PM