Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Arbutus menziesii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ArbutusView Description 

Common Name: MADRONE
Habit: Shrub, tree, glabrous to hairy, burled or not. Stem: erect; bark smooth at first, then shredding or fissured. Leaf: alternate, evergreen, leathery. Inflorescence: panicle, bracted; bractlets 2. Flower: sepals 5, fused at base; corolla urn-shaped, petals 5, fused; stamens 10, anthers dehiscing by short separate gaping slits, awns elongate; ovary superior, papillate, chambers 5. Fruit: berry. Seed: few per chamber.
Etymology: (Latin: name for Arbutus unedo L., strawberry tree)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
Arbutus menziesii Pursh
Stem: < 40 m, bark +- red, twigs stout. Leaf: blade < 12 cm, ovate to oblong, glabrous, rounded to pointed at tip, entire to minutely serrate, abaxially +- white, adaxially bright green. Flower: < 8 mm; corolla yellow-white or +- pink. Fruit: < 12 mm, spheric, orange-red, papillate. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Conifer, oak forests; Elevation: 100--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n SNF, n&c SNH, ScV, CW, n ChI (Santa Cruz Island), WTR, SnGb, PR; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--May
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary D. Wallace
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Next taxon: Arctostaphylos

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Botanical illustration including Arbutus menziesii

botanical illustration including Arbutus menziesii

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Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2012, Arbutus menziesii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 28, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 28, 2024.

Arbutus menziesii
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©2007 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Arbutus menziesii
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©2016 Keir Morse
Arbutus menziesii
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©2022 California Academy of Sciences
Arbutus menziesii
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©2009 Neal Kramer
Arbutus menziesii
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©2008 Neal Kramer

More photos of Arbutus menziesii
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Arbutus menziesii:
NW, CaR, n SNF, n&c SNH, ScV, CW, n ChI (Santa Cruz Island), WTR, SnGb, PR
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).