A truly stunning native tree but somewhat temperamental in the garden. Commonly found in the mixed evergreen forests of the Pacific slope, exhibiting a straight, clean trunk and broad crown to 60’. The deciduous bark peels in vertical strips to reveal a smooth, terra-cotta colored inner layer, that is luminous when wet with rain. Spring flowers are produced in compound, milk-white, clusters, March to May. The large 3 to 5" leaves are bright green and glossy. Tolerant of shade and most soils, but they must be well-drained. Slow to moderate growth. Arguably the most attractive California broadleaf tree. Named in 1769 by Father Juan Crespi, chronicler of the Portola Expedition; the first Spanish land exploration of the California coast, for the similar "strawberry tree" in Spain. Red-orange berries attract robins and cedar waxwings. More successful when used in northern California. Keeping the root zone cool will help in warmer climates. Hardy to 0 F. British Columbia to southern California.