Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Just spotted this fruit while walking to school. It's the size of a small coin.The taste is almost sour and tangy and somewhat sweet (I only tried one of them and very little of it). I admit, I've never seen it before. Does anyone know what this is?

share|improve this question
Welcome to Biology.SE! For this particular question, knowing some details about where you picked this (where you live, the climate, etc) would be helpful. – Daniel Standage Aug 28 '12 at 1:02
I live in Berkeley. It was actually two or three blocks north of UC Berkeley. See this link… It's the one right in front of the brown building. – darksky Aug 28 '12 at 2:12
Soda Hall? :P Oh, I remember those days... Anyway, my first thought was also a lychee/litchi. But I thought the fruit is usually whiter and there's usually a seed in the middle.. – jello Aug 28 '12 at 3:29
So you can eat it? Damn, I wasted my childhood! I always walked by such a tree but was too afraid to try. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 30 '12 at 16:18
up vote 14 down vote accepted

strawberry tree

It's probably Arbutus unedo, strawberry tree. Native to Mediterranean region and some part of western Ireland.

Edit: I've just spot that you found it in California, so it's probably one of north american Arbutus species, eg. Arbutus menziesii.

share|improve this answer
Awesome! Thanks so much. Now I'll eat the rest of them without fearing dying. – darksky Aug 29 '12 at 0:42
@darksky I've never eaten this kind of fruits so please don't blame me nor the SE community if they appear not edible. – Marta Cz-C Aug 29 '12 at 16:10
Yes it is Arbutus Unedo. We have several in the garden. In Spain it is called a Madroño. The fruits are edible, but they don't taste that great. They are not very sweet and can have a mushy texture. Use them to make jams. – Poshpaws Sep 12 '12 at 13:07

Litchi chinensis

Native to Asia, apparently.

share|improve this answer
But litchi's are white inside with a big hard seed in the middle. This is yellow inside with tiny black seeds. – darksky Aug 28 '12 at 3:28
The interior of a litchi is not like that. Plus is definitely not a fruit which I would classify as sour. – nico Aug 28 '12 at 5:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.