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Madrono Fruit


Introduction of Madrono Fruit


            Scientific name - Arbutus unedo


Arbutus unedo is an evergreen shrub, having its roots in the family Ericaceae and it grows 5–10 m tall, rarely up to 15 m. They are indigenous to the Mediterranean region and Western Europe north to western France and Ireland. It is also recognized as Irish strawberry tree or Killarney strawberry tree mainly because of its presence in southwest and northwest Ireland. The tree produces a red berry that’s 1–2 cm in diameter maturing in 12 months. Having a rough surface, it serves as a bee plant for honey production. Fruits are used to make beverages, jams and liqueurs; furthermore they make a great food for birds. Also they are great for firewood.


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Uses of Madrono Fruit


Edible uses: The fruit can be consumed fresh or cooked as jam and jelly also fermented as an alcohol. Honey produced has a characteristic bitter taste.
Material uses: Wood- timber for construction, they are appropriate for fine wood working. They make good firewood as well.

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Health Benefits of Madrono Fruit


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Hardly ever eaten as fresh fruits, these berries are used in folk medicine and the leaves contain tannins though the fruit contains pectin, as a result, they are useful to treat diarrhea when made into a tisane. In Morocco, this tisane has been used to control blood pressure while protecting against cure colds. Containing large amounts of Phytochemicals together with polyphenols, the berries are reported to lessen the risk of:

Cancer

Degenerative disease

Coronary heart disease

These effects are primarily attributed to the antioxidant capacity of polyphenols found in berries. Still used in herbal treatment, almost all parts of the plant contain ethyl gallate, a substance that have power over strong antibiotic activity aligned with the Mycobacterium bacteria.

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Cultivation


Mainly cultivated as ornamental plant by plant nurseries, it is used as a specimen or hedge shrub in gardens and public landscapes. It can withstand temperatures down to -16°c and tolerate industrial pollution, however requires nutrient-rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil to thrive. Low to moderate soil moisture is preferred. It also prefers heavy clay soils and dry soils. During the very first winter, it requires some protection.

Naturally adapted to dry summer climates, with Mediterranean climates it can sustain and be fertile. Blooming and fruiting takes place in autumn.

Garden care- It requires some amount of care to grow well; minimal pruning is a must, crossing branches or broken, diseased ones should be removed. When planting it is a must to slot in lots of well-rotted garden compost.


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Propagation


Propagated by seeds- best surface sown in a cold frame; stored seeds should be soaked in warm water for a period of 5-6 days. They are grown on in a greenhouse for their first winter and during late spring, it can be planted out. The compost shouldn’t become dry; cold stratification for 6 weeks is said to help.

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