Arbutus Andrachne (Greek strawberry tree)
A very common shrub of the forests of Cyprus. Also called Koumaria. English-speaking people call it the Greek Strawberry Tree, because its fruit look like small strawberries. These red fruits are an attractive food for birds living in the forest.
It’s fruit is edible and in Greece, it is used for the production of tsipouro or liqueurs. Since antiquity it is also known as a medicinal plant. Hippocrates used it against thrombosis, which is still used today. It is also considered antiseptic and diuretic.
The Greek strawberry tree is a very beautiful shrub that reaches 3-4 meters. It grows at an altitude of 600-1500 meters and is very common in the mountains of Troodos. It is evergreen with a red hard trunk and leaves (3-4 cm wide and 5-7 cm long), deep green and slightly fleshy, making it great food for goats and rabbits. It is also quite resistant to drought and, if burned, its deep rhizome allows it to re-grow very soon. Its hard wood is very good as a fuel for fireplaces and was also used to make charcoal and spoons.