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Arctostaphylos manzanita

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About Common Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) Artostaphylos manzanita is a tall, beautiful species of manzanita with an often dramatic and winding branch structure. It has the common names of Whiteleaf Manzanita and Common Manzanita. It is native to California, where it can be found primarily in the North Coast Range, and in the northern and central Sierra Nevada foothills. It's much more rarely found in the southern part of California in the Peninsular, western Transverse and South Coast Ranges. It is common on chaparral slopes and low-elevation coniferous forest ecosystems. The leaves are bright shiny green, wedge-shaped and pointed. The small white flowers, only a quarter inch long, are cup-shaped and hang upside down. The fruits are berries which are white when new and turn red-brown as the summer wears on. The bark on the long, crooked branches is reddish, making the shrub easily identifiable as a manzanita. It grows into a twisted tree about 15 feet tall. It does not form a basal burl and can be killed by fire.

Whiteleaf Manzanita is one of the easier manzanitas to grow in landscape applications, and is a bit more tolerant of summer water than most. Watering 1x per month during the summer is usually OK, though as with most manzanitas, it's best if it gets any supplementary summer water it needs by reaching it's roots out to a nearby water source. It likes sun or part shade, and does well in a wide variety of soils. The form of this manzanita found in the nursery trade is Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd'.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
6 - 20 ft (1.8 - 6.1 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)

Upright, Rounded, Upright Columnar


Growth Rate
Moderate, Slow


Flower Color
White, Green

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Slopes, rocky places below 4,000 ft., primarily in the North Coast Range and Sierras. It occurs in chaparral as well as foothill woodlands with oaks, pines and other trees

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
10' - 7035'

Annual Precip. ?
11.4" - 153.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 5.58"

Coldest Month ?
31.3° F - 55.1° F

Hottest Month ?
53.5° F - 76.3° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 26.56 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of clay or alluvial soil

Soil PH
4.0 - 7.0

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 10° F

Companion Plants
Works with a wide variety of other plants including Ceanothus species, scrub oaks, Salvias, Penstemons, Silk Tassel Bush (Garrya species), Flannel Bush (Fremontodendrons), and numerous subshrubs and annuals.

Wildlife Attracted
Insects and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Other birds are attracted to the fruits.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
Seeds must be fire treated to germinate.

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Whiteleaf Manzanita

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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