Manzanita (Arctostaphylos Manzanita)

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By: Brian Pelletier


The Manzanita (small apple, in Spanish) is a diverse variety of shrub that prospers in areas with a majority of clay soil, sandy beaches, and colder mountainous regions made up of rocky, acidic soil. Most varieties have smooth orange or red bark and stiff, twisting branches and include edible berries and flowers and thrive in areas where the heat and dryness of summer is offset by cool evening air. Manzanitas are found from Western Canada down to Mexico, and from the Pacific Coast to as far East as Texas.

This common Manzanita variety (Dr. Hurd) is an evergreen, multi-branched, treelike hybrid shrub with glossy, light green foliage and can grow upwards of 15 feet tall.

Given its resistance to drought, rugged appearance, and perennial green leaves, we opted to set this Manzanita as one of the main focal points of our backyard landscape redesign in 2019; and were excited to highlight a California native plant species along with many other drought-tolerant plants into our landscaping plans.

The Manzanita often attracts several hummingbirds, much to the delight/frustration of Luca, our lazy house cat, who never stands a chance. :)


This form of Manzanita was found by John Coulter of the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1972.

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