Richard P. Thomas

Vancouver Island, British Columbia CANADA

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999
From: Thomas, Rick
Subject: Arbutus tree
Arbutus * Arbutus menziesii Madrone, Pacific Madrone General:

Small to medium size, with heavy branches, to 30m tall but usually much shorter; Young bark chartreuse and soooth, older bark dark brownish red and peeling off.

Leaves: Alternate, evergreen, oval, to 15cm long, dark shiny green above, whitish-green below , hairless, leathery, without teeth except sometimes on young growth.

Flowers: White, urn shaped, 6-7mm long,fragrant (like buckwheat honey); in large drooping clusters.

Fruits: Orange-red berries, about 1cm across, surface finely granular; not usually eaten by humans, but popular with birds.

Ecology: On dry, sunny, often rocky sites, frequently with coarse-textured soils; low to middle elevations; typically associated with Douglas-fir and Garry oak. Extend from Alaska to California. The most impressive specimens are found in the Georgia Depression Ecosection of southern BC and Washington State.

This painting is from a series of 10 acrylic on canvas 48" x 48" (125cm x 125cm) done by Rick Thomas in 1997. This group of Arbutus is about 20 feet in height with branches about 12in thick. The location is on the crest of a 500 ft cliff overlooking Saanich inlet on the south end of Vancouver Island British Columbia. The painting was done in the late spring when the bark of the tree is bright orange and red.

My name is Richard P Thomas and I work for the Wildlife Inventory Section ofthe Government of British Columbia as an Extention and Training Coordinator and (off my desk) artist. The major subject that I paint is trees and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. I was trained at the Vancouver School of Art. I also do set design for the Victoria Operetic Society.

© Richard P. Thomas 1997

Latin Name: Arbutus menziesii Madrone, Pacific Madrone General
Common Name: Arbutus
Location: Saanich Inlet, South end of Vancouver Island, British Columbia CANADA
Title: "Arbutus"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas, 48" X48"

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