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Arbutus × andrachnoides Link

Modern name

Arbutus × andrachnoides Link


Arbutus hybrida Ker-Gawler

A hybrid between A. andrachne and A. unedo, intermediate in many respects between the two, and very variable within the limits set by the parent species, sometimes leaning more to one species, sometimes more to the other. The leaf­stalks and young branches are glandular-hairy, but not so much so as in A. unedo’, sometimes they show it only when quite young, and not very much even then. The leaves are toothed, rather glaucous beneath, and intermediate in size. Flowers produced in late autumn or in spring, in terminal, glandular-downy panicles, white, pitcher-shaped, 14 in. long. Fruit not so rough nor so large as in A. unedo. Bot. Reg., t. 619.

Found wild in Greece, where both the parent species occur, and said also to have been raised by Messrs Osborn of Fulham about 1800. On the whole it is the most useful as it is the commonest of the genus. Several of its finest forms have been given names, such as “magnifica”, “photinaefolia”, “rollissoni”, all notable for their fine foliage and goodly sized trusses. As commonly seen in gardens it resembles A. andrachne in its bark but is distinct in the toothed leaves; in A. unedo the bark is rough and shreddy.

Perhaps the most beautiful specimen in the country grows at Bodnant, Denbigh; it is one of four, planted in 1905, and is about 30 ft high and as much in spread. ‘I know of no tree whose aspect alters more readily with the changing vagaries of light and shade, breeze and calm. When the evening sun lights upon its leaves and vividly illuminates its branches the whole tree is a most lovely sight.’ (Lord Aberconway in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 79, p. 184.) Other large specimens are: Kew, 35 × 414 ft at 1 ft (1967); Lytchett Heath, Dorset. pl. 1877, 30 × 414 ft at 4 ft; Highdown, Sussex, pl. 1924, 31 × 314 ft. This last tree, and another in the West Hill nursery of Messrs Hillier, proves that A. × andrachnoides grows well on chalk.



Other species in the genus