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Arctostaphylos refugioensis
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Refugio Manzanita
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Arctostaphylos refugioensis

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About Refugio Manzanita (Arctostaphylos refugioensis) Arctostaphylos refugioensis is a species in the Heath family (Ericaceae) known by the common name Refugio manzanita. It is endemic to Santa Barbara County, California, where it can be found along the immediate coastline, including the vicinity of Refugio State Beach, and into the Santa Ynez Mountains. It is a plant of the coastal chaparral on sandstone soils. This is a shrub reaching at least two meters tall and known to exceed four meters in maximum height. Its branches are covered in long, gland-tipped bristles and a dense foliage of oblong greenish to deep red leaves. Each leaf is dull, waxy, and often bristly in texture, smooth or toothed along the edges, and up to 4.5 centimeters long. The shrub flowers in winter in clusters of cone-shaped or urn-shaped flowers each up to a centimeter long. The fruit is a spherical to oval red drupe with a pointed end, measuring at least a centimeter long. Despite being from a mild climate area, it seems to do well in cultivation in hotter and colder inland areas.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
6.6 - 13.1 ft (2 - 4 m)

Max. Width
7 ft (2.1 m)



Growth Rate


New growth is especially red

Flower Color
Pink, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandstone outcrops (not beach sand) in chaparral within 20 miles of the coast, below 2,500 ft. in Santa Barbara County


Elevation ?
317' - 4236'

Annual Precip. ?
12.2" - 34.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 0.29"

Coldest Month ?
45.6° F - 53.8° F

Hottest Month ?
63.3° F - 73.0° F

Humidity ?
0.83 vpd - 18.84 vpd

Soil Description

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium

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

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Birds are attracted to the fruit and seeds.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Prune to shape in late summer to avoid infection

Propagation ?
By seed or cuttings

Common uses
Deer Resistant, 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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