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Any of about 14 species (genus Arbutus) of broad-leaved evergreen shrubs or trees, in the heath family. Native to southern Europe and western North America, they are characterized by loosely clustered white or pink flowers and red or orange berries. A. menziesii (variously known as the madrona, Pacific madrona, laurelwood, and Oregon laurel) and A. unedo (the strawberry tree) are cultivated as ornamentals. The trailing arbutus belongs to the genus Epigaea.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on arbutus, visit Britannica.com.