Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Arbutus menziesii: Madrone

When Spanish missionary monk Father Juan Crespi saw strawberry trees on the Pacific coast of North America, he recognized them imediately as relatives of the Spanish madrono. Crespi was part of an expedition to find the legendary Bay of Monterey and establish Jesuit settlements there. 
After traveling for months the expedition successfully planted a cross at Monterey and set up a mission in the Carmel Valley.  In his diary Crespi noted that he saw “Many madronos, though with smaller fruit than the Spanish trees.” That’s where our name, madrone, originated.

From Lives of the Trees by Diana Wells, 2010.

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