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Arctostaphylos franciscana
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Franciscan Manzanita
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Arctostaphylos franciscana

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About Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) Franciscan Manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) is a rare native shrub. It is presumed to be native only to the immediate vicinity of San Francisco Bay and was presumed extinct for many years. It is on CNPS list 1B.1. However, it has been in cultivation for many years and is considered a good garden Manzanita for both coastal and inland locations. It tolerates a wide range of conditions. It was formerly considered to be a subspecies of A. hookeri and some sources still refer to it that way.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
0.7 - 10 ft (0.21 - 3 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)



Flower Color
Pink, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
The species' original natural setting is presumed to be bluffs and hills surrounding San Francisco Bay. However, it has been almost entirely extirpated from that area. In garden settings it appears to grow equally well in coastal and inland locations.

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
132' - 881'

Annual Precip. ?
24.3" - 27.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.28" - 0.33"

Coldest Month ?
49.1° F - 50.4° F

Hottest Month ?
62.8° F - 64.7° F

Humidity ?
1.19 vpd - 9.86 vpd

Soil Description
Appears to tolerate a variety of soils

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Companion Plants
In its original habitat of northern coastal scrub, companions included Blueblossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus), Clarkia sp., Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii), Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa), Seaside Fleabane (Erigeron glaucus), Seaside Buckwheat (Eriogonum latifolium), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Coffeeberry (Frangula californica), Coast Silktassel (Garrya elliptica), Lupines (Lupinus sp.), and Sticky Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus). In cultivation it works well with many other plants.

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds and insects are attracted to Manzanita flowers. Birds and small mammals are attracted to the fruits.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Manzanitas in general take light pruning well. Dead wood may be pruned at any time. Live stems should be pruned in dry season to prevent infection.

Propagation ?
Seeds or cuttings

Common uses
Hedges, Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Arctostaphylos hookeri ssp. franciscana

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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