A small tree found as a native in heathy scrub and open woodland on rocky slopes and lake shores, on limestone, conglomerate, slates and sandstones; typically on very shallow soil, or rooted into rock. It also occurs as an escape from cultivation, and has become invasive at the Great Orme (Caerns.) and possibly elsewhere. Reproduction is by seed. Lowland.
A. unedo was much more abundant in Ireland several centuries ago, but by the 16th century seemed to have become extinct or rare except in Co. Cork and Co. Kerry, probably largely because of its use for charcoal. There has been little change over the last hundred years.
Light (Ellenberg): 6
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1335
Height (cm): 500
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 0
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 8
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: 1.18
Atlas text references
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1950. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 30. Arbutus L., Arbutus unedo L. Journal of Ecology. 38:223-236.