Monday, April 19, 2010

Urban Foraging N. Oakland - Arbutus Strawberry Tree

While riding my bike around my new N. Oakland neighborhood, I came across a row of about 6+ Arbutus Strawberry Trees. I don't see these fruits very often so I was excited to come across a whole bunch of them just blocks from my house. Luckily these trees are just coming in to season so the trees are full of ripening fruits. The bell shaped flower of the Strawberry Tree are edible and have a slight honey like flavor.

The fruit is small with spiky red skin, yellow flesh, and can be eaten whole. The texture is a little bit mealy but has a pleasant light almost apricot like flavor. You want to pick the fruit when it is dark red and soft when you apply light pressure. They should come off easily when you pick them.
Keep your eyes peeled around your neighborhood for these spiky red fruits. They are great eaten right off the tree or can be turned in to a wonderful jam.

Happy Foraging!


  1. There are a whole lot of these in San Mateo, that are just about be ripe! Thanks for posting!

  2. Omg this is so weird.
    Just this morning I was walking to the bus and noticed some strange trees with red peeling bark, and those odd little fruits, and my 1st reaction (as it often is) was: "Can I eat that!?!?"
    But then I got sad because I couldn't think of anyway to describe them if I were to google them later so I forgot about it.
    And THEN I come browsing around your blog for the first time (deodorant post led me here) and find this post.
    Thank you for the odd coincidence.

  3. Thank you for posting! I was trying to figure out what these trees were and whether or not the berries were edible. Lots of them in San Mateo are ripening at the moment.

  4. Fantastic! I live in an area with an abundance of these trees, and I've always wondered if they were edible. FINALLY, after years of wondering, I decided to try and describe the fruit to google. Lo and behold, an answer! Thanks so much!

  5. Yay! You're my hero, I had no idea what these were and now I know I can go collect a bucketful for jarring! Thank you so much!

  6. Yessss! So thankful you posted! We discovered some of these this morning on the California coast. So happy to know what they are. So tasty!

  7. We just found one of these trees today, and I wondered if the fruit was edible. Thanks for the answer!

  8. Hah! Me too... Some of these were growing right in front of some Pomegranates we couldn't reach. I told my friend: "You try one!", he said: "no way!". Now I'll have to go back... Before he finds out. ;-)

  9. Thanks, I was also curious about that fruit and got help...