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Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii
Arbutus menziesii

Two photographs of arbutus (or Pacific madrone) from my 4-day mini-holiday on Galiano Island. It's easy to imagine why some local photographers occasionally have exhibits dedicated to this, Canada's only evergreen deciduous broad-leaved tree (the word “deciduous” was struck out and then later restored - see comments). Myself, I took about a hundred photographs, though most were abstracts and won't find their way onto BPotD. You can see why I'm eagerly anticipating the development of UBC Botanical Garden's Garry Oak Woodland and Meadow, since it will contain two groves of dozens of mature arbutus trees when planted out.

For a bit of information about this species, visit last year's entry on Arbutus menziesii.

11 Comments

Presumably you meant "Canada's only evergreen broad-leaved tree".

Arbutus menziesii - Z7 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Arbutus menziesii - Z7-9 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
Arbutus menziesii - 'Hardy in the home counties when rightly sighted' - Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs, 2003

Thanks Ron. Yes, of course.

Well, I've just had it explained to me that I was inadvertently correct the first time re: the deciduous and evergreen nature of Arbutus menziesii. It has a seasonal deciduous period – July and August – when all of the previous year's leaves fall. It just so happens that the current year's leaves remain on the tree at this time - so it is both evergreen and deciduous. I added broad-leaved as per Ron's suggestion, though.

Definition of deciduous from Merriam-Webster: “falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle

I love Madrona. Gorgeous trunks.

One of my memories from my Pacific Northwest childhood that triggers both physical and emotional responses is that of pressing my cheek to the cool flesh of what we referred to as the madrona tree. Thanks for the reminder! Wish I were there now to experience it again...

Wow! I think of that as a California chapparal and gray-pine-belt tree. I didn't realize it extended into Canada. It's been one of my favorites since I was little.

I had no idea that Madrones grew as far north as Canada. I've only seen a couple, one in the Davis Mountains in Texas and the other at Sitting Bull Falls near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Here is a link to the "Texas Madrone":

http://www.nps.gov/plants/cw/watercolor/info/arxa80-a.htm

Hi, Daniel,

I think that it still is evergreen -- bearing leaves throughout the year. The evergreen conifers, of course, lose their leaves, typically after 2 or 3 years -- otherwise we'd see them embedded in the trunk and branches! They all lose their leaves at some time, it's just that they always have some leaves on the plant (tree).

You continue to do a great job with this. I've recommended the site to my students (a woody plants course), and regularly refer to one of you daily plants, since I usually look at it before class. I'll have to try to find the time to scan a few slides and send them to you sometime for possible use.

Bruce

Oh, I wish I'd seen this closer to when it was first posted. Gorgeous! We have a web site dedicated to the Madrone in Scotland - it's not native here, but doing well as specimen trees, the oldest being planted when Archibald Menzies returned from his globe-trotting with Captain Vancouver in 1795.

Site's having some problems at the moment, but do come back as it's undergoing a refurb as well.

Leslie

Perhaps occultly or cryptically or hermetically or inapparently deciduous.

I dont cater to dictionaries as authorities if you know, really deeply feel in your guts the meaning of a word, a dictionary is no guide just another opinion which might be wrong or not serve your purpose.

Clearly the notion of a yearly leaffall is erroneous or incomplete, the key is that the tree divest itself of 99.9% of its leaves.
So there is a time in its seasonal cycle when the tree is barren of all leaves period.

By the arbutus definition red cedar would be a deciduous tree as in my garden the inner tree looks like a premature larch with needles gone orange but the external layer has no intention of changing colour or falling off, deciduing.

By the way all spruce pine hemlock cedar stands have a good layer of fallen leaves underfoot which does not deciduous make them.

So the real meaning of a deciduous tree is not leaf fall of some leaves but of ALL leaves.

Hence arbutus doesnt qualify.

You might wiggle in partially secretly deciduous but then most evergreens would also qualify and this distinction would lose all its meaning.

So evergreen would be most of the time keeping most of its leaves green so my cedar would qualify as it must despite a few deciduous needles whereas deciduous would mean at some time in its life cycle all leaves would be shed at the same time and the tree would be totally devoid of leaves or barren or naked. So arbutus would nor qualify.

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