previous next


The flesh of the ground-strawberry1 is very different to that of the arbute-tree,2 which is of a kindred kind: indeed, this is the only instance in which we find a similar fruit growing upon a tree and on the ground. The tree is tufted and bushy; the fruit takes a year to ripen, the blossoms of the young fruit flowering while that of the preceding year is arriving at maturity. Whether it is the male tree or the female that is unproductive, authors are not generally agreed.

This is a fruit held in no esteem, in proof of which it has gained its name of "unedo,"3 people being generally content with eating but one. The Greeks, however, have found for it two names—"comaron" and "memecylon," from which it would appear4 that there are two varieties. It has also with us another name besides that of "unedo," being known also as the "arbutus." Juba states that in Arabia this tree attains the height of fifty cubits.

1 The common strawberry, the Fragaria vesca of Linnæus. See B. xxi. c. 50. A native of the Alps and the forests of Gaul, it was unknown to the Greeks.

2 The Arbutus unedo of Linnæus. It is one of the ericaceous trees, and its fruit bears a considerable resemblance to the strawberry—otherwise there is not the slightest affinity between them. The taste of the arbute is poor indeed, compared to that of the strawberry.

3 He suggests that it is so called from "unum edo," "I eat but one;" a rather fanciful etymology, it would seem.

4 This supposition is not warranted, from merely the fact of there being two names.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: