Common manzanita

On a hillside above the bay, the ground is covered with tiny, bell-shaped flowers so thick they look like a January snow fell here. Overhead, bees and hummingbirds are busy among the myriad blooms covering the arching, red-limbed shrubs, growing in places into low trees. This is a beautiful patch of common manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) alongside the Turtleback Nature Trail at China Camp State Park, but is prime bloom time for this and many species of manzanita that occur throughout the area, so get out and enjoy them if you can! Manzanitas can seem daunting to key, as the different species appear very similar at first, but the Marin Flora breaks them down so they are not actually difficult. And even if you don’t want to key them – still go see them. Maybe bring a companion, a book, or a picnic. They are a delight, and worth spending a bit of time with. Common manzanita has a graceful, tall growth form that is particularly inviting. If you happen to be accompanied by a toddler, as I was, then you can likely spend an easy hour in the “castles” beneath their branches.arctostaphylos_manzanita2arctostaphylos_manzanita3 arctostaphylos_manzanita4



Filed under Plant of the day

2 responses to “Common manzanita

  1. Leslie Ross

    Thank you for another inspiring article describing the flora marvels waiting for us to rediscover. I would set out today for a short walk if I were near.

  2. Lewis Zuelow

    Thanks for your enthusiastic and poetic post giving our magical manzanitas timely top billing. Lovely photos captured the moment well.
    Your blog is superb – beautifully written and filled with rich detail.
    Lew Zuelow

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