Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Pacific Madrone earns its role as a breathtaking icon among trees of the Pacific coast. Often found in the wild basking in the salt spray of dry coastal bluffs, this small to medium size evergreen makes a stunning native addition to landscaping projects. Pacific Madrone’s signature feature is its ever-changing bark. It cycles from chartreuse in the early spring to flushed orange and red tones in the summer, and finally rich mahogany in the fall, at which point it cracks and peels into papery patterns. While a more challenging variety to grow, if given well-drained, rocky soil and full to partial sunlight, the reward is grandeur. Arbutus menziesii is adorned in dark, leathery leaves and vivid red-orange berries, preceded by small white blooms that will have hummingbirds flocking to a backyard paradise.
Caroline Boschetto, AmeriCorps Projects Coordinator, Community Agriculture Engagement
Jim Pojar, Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. 2004.
King County Native Plant Guide: Pacific Madrone