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Sand Mesa Manzanita
Arctostaphylos rudis
About Sand Mesa Manzanita (Arctostaphylos rudis) Nurseries Show All Photos Arctostaphylos rudis is a rare species in the Ericaceae (Heath) family known by the common names Sand Mesa Manzanita and Shagbark Manzanita. It is endemic to California, where it is known only from the southern Central Coast. It is most abundant at Burton Mesa in the hills north of Lompoc, and there are a few occurrences remaining near Nipomo. Due to its highly restricted range, it is included on CNPS list 1B.2. It grows in chaparral and coastal sage scrub on sandy soils. This is an erect shrub growing from a burl to heights between one and two meters. Its stem and branches are covered in shredding gray and reddish bark, with its smaller branches coated in woolly fibers. The leaves are oval in shape and smooth along the edges with few hairs, green in color and shiny. They are 1 to 3 centimeters long. It flowers in late fall and winter with pink urn-shaped manzanita flowers. The fruits are hairless red drupes about a centimeter wide or slightly larger. Despite its rarity in the wild, it is easy to grow and accepting of garden conditions. It is probably best used near the coast.
Plant Description
Plant Type

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

Max. Width
7 ft (2.1 m)


Flower Color
Pink, Green, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy mesas within a few miles of the coast inSan Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties


Elevation ?
13' - 4200'

Annual Precip. ?
13.8" - 24.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 0.73"

Coldest Month ?
39.1° F - 49.8° F

Hottest Month ?
65.5° F - 76.4° F

Humidity ?
0.77 vpd - 24.30 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sand or sandstone

Soil Texture
Sandy Loam

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds and various insects

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

Propagation ?
By seeds or cuttings

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Shagbark 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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