Arbutus andrachne, Eastern Strawberry tree,
Hebrew: קטלב מצוי, Arabic: جناء أحمر, Janà ahmar

Scientific name:  Arbutus andrachne L.
Common name:   Eastern Strawberry tree
Hebrew name:   קטלב מצוי
Arabic name:  جناء أحمر, Janà ahmar
Family:  Ericaceae, Heath or heather family, אברשיים

Israel, Native plants, wild flowers, Nature

Life form:  Tree, evergreen
Stems:  Irregular branches, red flaking bark; young twigs glabrous
Leaves:  Alternate, petiolate, oval, 3-6cm wide, less than twice as long as wide, entire, smooth margin
Inflorescence:  Flowers 5-merous, in terminal, bracteate panicles; bracteoles absent
Flowers:  White, hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) calyx 2-5mm, with ovate-rhombic, acute lobes
Fruits / pods:  Oval, red berries full of flat seeds
Flowering Period:   March, April
Habitat:   Mediterranean maquis and forest
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Arbutus andrachne, Eastern Strawberry tree,<br> جناء أحمر ,קטלב מצוי, Janà ahmar


Derivation of the botanical name:
Arbutus, the strawberry tree.
andrachne, the Greek name for Arbutus andrachne
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Arbutus andrachne is one of the constituents of the "Common Oak Forest" in Israel.
Today Arbutus andrachne is known as a small shrub or small tree, but archeological evidence shows that specimens of a considerably greater stature, sufficient to provide structural building timber, are likely to have been avaiable in the past.
The Arbutus andrachne remains of a beam supporting the roof of the "Sunken Room" at Sidon, Lebanon, were grown c.1390-1120 BCE (Asouti, E. and Griffiths, D., the "Sunken Room" at Sidon (2003)).

The Gaullic bishop Arculf, who lived in Jerusalem from 679 to 688, describes the Arbutus andrachne as follows: There was on the road a small tree bearing a fruit somewhat bigger than our largest cherries, and of the shape and taste of strawberries, but a little acid. It is pleasant to eat ; but, if a great quantity be eaten, it mounts to the head, and intoxicates. It is ripe in November and December.

Arbutus andrachne, Eastern Strawberry tree,<br> جناء أحمر ,קטלב מצוי, Janà ahmar


Arbutus andrachne, Eastern Strawberry tree,<br> جناء أحمر ,קטלב מצוי, Janà ahmar