This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Evergreen shrubs or small trees. Leaves alternate, entire or serrate. Flowers white or pink, in terminal racemose bracteate panicles. Corolla globose or campanulate, with small reflexed lobes. Stamens 10, inserted on the base of the corolla; anthers opening by pores, furnished with two deflexed awns. Fruit an indehiscent 5-celled globular granular or smooth berry; cells 4- to 5-seeded. There are about a score of species in northern temperate regions, including the mountains of Mexico. The name is the old Latin one for the common species.
1. A. Unedo. Strawberry Tree. - A small tree from 10 to 20 feet high. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, doubly serrate. Flowers numerous, white, appearing in September or October. Fruit scarlet, ripening the second year. This fine evergreen is found about the lakes of Killarney, in Ireland, and the West and South of Europe generally.
2. A. Andrachne. - A Mediterranean species, larger in all its parts, having laurel-like leaves and smooth berries. The bark of this is of a reddish tinge and deciduous, peeling off in slender strings. There are some hybrid varieties between this and the foregoing of intermediate character,
A. procera is a North American species requiring protection. It is closely allied to the last, but with serrated leaves and a smaller racemose panicle of white flowers. A, Croomii is another of the large-leaved group.
Arctostdphylos alpina, Bearberry, is an indigenous dwarf branching shrub. Leaves deciduous, spathulate, toothed, net-veined. Flowers small, white. Fruit a drupe, containing 5 to 10 1-seeded stones.
Bryanthus erectus is a charming Heath-like shrub about a foot high, having pentamerous broadly-campanulate red flowers. It was formerly supposed to be of hybrid origin between Rhododendron Chamcecistus and Menziesia cceriilea; but it is now known to be a native of Siberia, and has probably no more title to be called a hybrid than any other wild plant.