E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Arbutus menziesii Pursh
arbutus (madrone; Pacific madrone)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin Newell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1034)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Arbutus menziesii
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
New! Click on the map dots to view record details.

Introduction

This is a distinctive deciduous species of tree that is found from southwestern British Columbia south to Baja California.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.



General:
Broadleaf tree, 6-30 m tall, often with many stems from the base and more shrublike; young bark chartreuse and smooth, aging to deep brownish-red and peeling off.
Leaves:
Alternate, evergreen, leathery, egg-shaped to elliptic, glabrous, entire on mature older growth, fine-toothed on young shoots, 5-15 cm long, dark shiny green above, whitish-green below.
Flowers:
In large drooping terminal clusters; corollas white or pinkish, urn-shaped, 6-8 mm long, fragrant.
Fruits:
Berries, globe-shaped, orange to red, about 1 cm across; surface finely granular.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
White
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry open forests and rocky slopes on coarse or shallow soils in the lowland and montane zones; common in extreme SW BC; S to Baja CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Arbutus menziesii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 15 194 2080
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 135
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
30 260 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
74
Modal BEC Zone Class
CDF
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(52), CWH(20), ESSF(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American evergreen broadĀ­leaved tree distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime summer-dry cool mesothermal climates on very dry to moderately dry soils. Restricted to water-shedding sites on southeastern Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, and adjacent coastal mainland; its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation and continentality. Occasional in pure or mixed-species young-seral stands (usually with Garry oak or Douglas-fir) on strongly drained sites. Commonly associated with Gaultheria shallon. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References