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Bonny Doon Manzanita
Arctostaphylos silvicola
About Bonny Doon Manzanita (Arctostaphylos silvicola) Nurseries Show All Photos Arctostaphylos silvicola is a species in the Ericaceae (Heath) family that is known by the common name Bonny Doon Manzanita. It is endemic to Santa Cruz County, California, where it is known from only about 20 occurrences in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains. It grows in coniferous forest and chaparral on the sandy coastal slopes. This is a large shrub growing at least a meter tall and known to exceed six meters, looking much like a tree. The bark is dark red and smooth. The leaves are greenish gray in color and sometimes slightly woolly. They are oval in shape and up to 3.5 centimeters long. The flower clusters consist of long, urn-shaped flowers and the fruit is a drupe 6 to 12 millimeters wide. Due to its highly restricted range and loss of habitat due to sand mining, this rare species is included on CNPS list 1B.2.

In the garden its gray foliage contrasts nicely with the red bark. It tolerates cold but prefers no summer water. It would probably perform best in northern to central California gardens close to the coast.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
8 - 20 ft (2.4 - 6.1 m)

Max. Width
8 - 20 ft (2.4 - 6.1 m)


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Ancient sand dunes and sand deposits in the Santa Cruz Mountains, as part of woodlands or chaparral

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
267' - 3234'

Annual Precip. ?
34.8" - 59.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.39" - 0.58"

Coldest Month ?
44.2° F - 49.2° F

Hottest Month ?
64.4° F - 72.9° F

Humidity ?
0.36 vpd - 17.79 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy soil

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


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

Wildlife Attracted
Various 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
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Deep Organic

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Silverleaf 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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