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Greenleaf Manzanita Back to Plant Page
Arctostaphylos patula

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About Greenleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula) Arctostaphylos patula is a species in the Ericaceae (Heath) family known by the common name Greenleaf Manzanita. This is a shrub of the Sierras and Klamath mountains, living at higher elevations and tolerating very cold winters. It reaches between one and two meters in height. Like other Manzanitas its lower branches extend more outward than upward and may root in the soil where they touch. The stems are twisting and reddish-brown in color, and shiny due to hairy secretion. The leaves are oval-shaped to nearly round, and flat, shiny, and smooth. They are 6 centimeters long and four wide at maximum. The plentiful flowers are white to pink and urn-shaped, each with five small lobes at the mouth of the corolla, hanging in bunches. The fruits are dark brown drupes nearly a centimeter wide, each containing about five hard-coated seeds. Seeds require fire followed by cold conditions to germinate; seeds can remain dormant in soil for hundreds of years. In a few areas Greenleaf Manzanitas produce lignotubers from which they can reproduce vegetatively. In the garden this plant seems to tolerate many conditions. However, it is not tolerant of alkaline soil.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 7 ft (1 - 2.1 m)

Max. Width
9 ft (2.7 m)

Upright, Mounding

Growth Rate


Flower Color
White, Pink

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Often found growing among granite boulders in forest openings or treeless places at higher elevations

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
129' - 14113'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 156.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.24" - 6.33"

Coldest Month ?
11.1° F - 52.0° F

Hottest Month ?
34.4° F - 80.0° F

Humidity ?
0.36 vpd - 30.21 vpd

Soil Description
Typically decomposed granite

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.5


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

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18

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

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Soak in concentrated H2SO4 for 2 hrs. then 3 mos. stratification (Carlson and Sharp 1975); or concentrated H2S04 for 4 hrs. then 4 mos. stratification ( USDA Forest Service 1974). For the acid treatment, single nutlets and stone pieces (often without embryos) and entire stones should be treated separately, as they require different amounts of time in acid (Giersback 1937) An alternate method is fire treatment in fall, this gives germination by spring. More easily propogated from tip cuttings in winter using bottom heat.

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

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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