Rarely does one encounter a species of tree more distinct than Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii), commonly known as arbutus in Canada. Attentive visitors to the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest always notice its colorful bark. Its frequently twisted and gnarled growth form also stands in sharp contrast to the conifers with which it grows. Although overlooked by some because of its limited economic importance, many consider Pacific madrone the most attractive forest tree on the west coast.