Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Arbutus menziesii - Pacific Madrone
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Family Name: Ericaceae
Common Names: Pacific Madrone, Madrone, Madrono
Origin: Native to California
Habitat: Coniferous and oak forests, woodlands and chaparrals, up to 5000 ft. elevation. Generally on drier areas with mild oceanic winters.
Life Form and Duration: Perennial Tree, 3-40 m high
Comments on overall growth: Single or multistemmed tree, on harsh sites may be a shrub. Trunks typically crooked. Crown widely spreading, irregular and sparse.
Bark and Stem Description: Bark is thin and smooth, peeling of in strips in early summer leaving a smooth pale-green surface that changes through varying shades to reddish brown. Young bark is colored with blends of green, brown, and red. On old trunks and branches the bark is furrowed and reddish brown.
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Foliage Description: Leaves alternate, appearing whorled at branch tips, leathery, ovate-oblong to elliptic, dark glossy green above and paler below, 5-15 cm long, on 2-5 cm grooved petioles. Leaf margins finely serrate to entire.
Infloresence Description: Inflorescence a terminal panicle 5-15 cm long, with hairy stalks. Sweet smelling.
Flower Description: Urn shaped, yellowish white or pinkish, ~ 6 mm long.
Flowering Season: March-May
Fruit Type: Berry
Fruit Description: Red-orange, 8-12 mm in diameter. Seed thick and hard, light brown, ~3 mm long. Contains ~ 20 dark brown seeds.
Common Associates: Lithocarpus densiflorus, Pseudotsuga menziesii, and Quercus ssp.