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ARCTOSTAPHYLOS nevadensis

Image of Arctostaphylos nevadensis

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ARCTOSTAPHYLOS nevadensis

Plant Common Name

Pinemat Manzanita

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Within its range, this cold hardy carpet-like manzanita provides a valuable wild groundcover in areas challenged by lean acid soils and long periods without rain. It is found beneath the evergreen forests from Washington state to California where it can be the dominant vegetation. Depending on elevation these plants may become semi or wholly deciduous in winter. This mountain dweller is slow growing, bearing oval green leaves that gradually weaves itself through rocky outcroppings or spreads out in areas of open, well drained soils.

This hallmark of California is one of the most drought resistant shrubs of the West. Since no rain may fall from spring to late fall within its range, these shrubs are incredibly tolerant of dry conditions and will not abide supplemental watering. Their preference for higher elevations indicates it’s best reserved for homes in mountain communities.

Manzanita wood is exceptionally dense and oily, making it one of the most flammable fuels in the wildland. It is very slow growing and sheathed in a brick red skin that peels off periodically. This red bark and twisted branches are coveted by artisans. In early spring manzanitas burst into bloom with hundreds of clusters of small, bell shaped pink flowers. These mature into pea sized red fruits that led the Spanish to dub it “little-apple” or manza-nita. Fruit is mealy and astringent when mature, offering vital food for foxes and birds. The seed readily sprouts. These shrubs are not often seen in garden centers because they are difficult to cultivate. When you do find them, buy only very small specimens in exceptionally deep pots, but even then they may never take on the extreme drought resistance of their wild siblings.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Dark Red

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No