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Arctostaphylos purissima
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La Purissima Manzanita
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Arctostaphylos purissima

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About La Purissima Manzanita (Arctostaphylos purissima) Arctostaphylos purissima is a rare species in the Ericaceae (Heath) family known by the common names La Purisima Manzanita or Lompoc Manzanita. It is endemic to a very small portion of western Santa Barbara County, California, near the City of Lompoc, site of Mission La Pursima Concepcion. Due to its limited distribution it is included on CNPS list 1B.1. It is a plant of the coastal chaparral on sandstone soils. This is a shrub reaching at least a meter in height and known to exceed four meters tall. It varies in shape from low and spreading to tall and erect. It is coated in long, white bristles and a dense foliage of shiny, hairless green leaves. Each leaf is round to oval in shape and smooth along the edges, and up to 2.5 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a hanging cluster of spherical to urn-shaped flowers each about half a centimeter long. It has a notably long flowering season. The fruit is a hairless drupe between one half and one centimeter wide. This is one of several Manzanita species that are unique to the central coast and it would make a nice addition to any coastal garden. Horticultural varieties known as 'Vandenberg' and 'Petite Margarita' are available that offer an especially compact shape.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 13.1 ft (0.9 - 4 m)

Max. Width
3 - 8 ft (0.9 - 2.4 m)


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandstone outcrops, sandy soils of the coastal plain of the Pt. Conception region


Elevation ?
105' - 1590'

Annual Precip. ?
14.8" - 28.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 0.33"

Coldest Month ?
45.5° F - 53.4° F

Hottest Month ?
65.1° F - 73.4° F

Humidity ?
0.76 vpd - 18.54 vpd

Soil Description

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


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

Companion Plants
Use with other sand loving, coastal plants such as Sand Verbena (Abronia sp.), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), A

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Common uses
Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Lompoc Manzanita, La Purisima 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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