Arbutus unedo, or strawberry tree, is a native Mediterranean species. It is also considered to be native to Ireland and is found in south-western Ireland and County Sligo; however, there is some question that it may have been as a result of prehistoric human introduction [1]. Due to its adaptation to hotter climates, its response to a warming environment is interesting to monitor in an Irish context. In Ireland it is also a near threatened species, with population decline recorded in Co.Cork, Kerry and Sligo associated with a decline in habitat quality [2].
It is a species with significant cultural importance, as its ornamental, nutritional and medicinal value has been recognised since Greek times [3]. It is widely researched, with more than 200 of its features being studied globally, as retrieved from relevant databases.

1. Skeffington MS and Scott S. (2021) Is the Strawberry Tree,Arbutus unedo(Ericaceae), native toIreland, or was it brought by the first copper miners? British & Irish Botany 3(4): 385-418.

2. Wyse Jackson, M., FitzPatrick, Ú., Cole, E., Jebb, M., McFerran, D., Sheehy Skeffington, M. & Wright, M. (2016) Ireland Red List No. 10: Vascular Plants. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Dublin, Ireland

3. Morgado S., Morgado M., Plácido A. I., Roque F., Duarte A.P. (2018). Arbutus unedo L.: From traditional medicine to potential uses in modern pharmacotherapy, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 225: 90-102.


Microscope image of leaf surface showing particulate pollution

Stomatal Conductance

Particulate Matter