Manzanita- Profile of a Favorite Plant

August 10th, 2009

A manzanita branch surrounded by black sage

A manzanita branch surrounded by black sage

The genus Arctospahylos contains a wide array of beautiful plants for the garden. These are commonly called manzanita, Spanish for little apple, after the shape of the pretty fruits that appear in spring. There are many species of manzanita native to California. For those who think that a low water garden can only contain cacti and rocks, here is a plant to change your mind. Manzanitas encompass a large grouping of plants. There are low growing, spreading manzanitas for ground cover and there are big, bushy manzanita that can be used as informal hedges or as stunning specimen plants. Manzanitas are evergreen, making them a good choice for those who seek a lush look with little water. Bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar rich flowers which bloom in winter.
With such a wide variety of sizes and growth habits there is a manzanita appropriate for every space. The challenge can be in choosing the right one for your garden. While most garden centers probably only carry one or two selections, native plant nurseries usually have dozens of cultivars in stock.
The most notable thing about manzanita is their bark. It is a deep red color and tends to be shiny. This is probably the prettiest bark you have ever seen. Manzanita bark glows in the moonlight. It’s twisted limbs are striking in the landscape. If you are thinking about planting a low water garden, a wildlife garden or simply a beautiful garden, don’t forget to include manzanita.


One comment on “Manzanita- Profile of a Favorite Plant”

  1. Hobosic says:

    Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

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