Wednesday, January 19, 2011




manzanita
Arctostaphylos sp.
Ericaceae

Before I started Nature ID, I pretty much ignored manzanitas. Hey, they're shrubs and I usually don't get too excited about shrubbery. However, I've since come to appreciate the varied beauty of manzanitas, from their amazingly artistic, maroon and grey bark to their delicate pink and white flowers. While there are 123 species records of Arctostaphylos listed on Calflora (click on the scientific name above to link to the database), I've narrowed down the species to just 7 possibilities at sandy Fort Ord. Perhaps, this year I'll look into how I can distinguish between the different species. Can anyone help me identify these rather cool shrubs?

4 comments:

texwisgirl said...

No help here. Just a "wow" - they're beautiful!

j said...

I have been totally obsessed with Manzanitas lately. I think it is really hard trying to identify various types because there are just so many variations. However you should check out this website for Las Pilitas Nursery. They have a lot of manzanitas with photos and descriptions:

http://www.laspilitas.com/shop/plant-products/popular-group-manzanitas

Nature ID (Katie) said...

twg, they are exceptionally pretty, especially when one takes the time to stop and look closer. I guess that could be said about a lot of things.

Jennifer, manzanitas are blooming everywhere right now and they're SO difficult to distinguish. I love Las Pilitas for the humor they include in many of their descriptions. You've got to read the last few sentences of roses: http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/rosa-californica

GretchenJoanna said...

I adore manzanitas, but mostly notice them in the higher elevations, where I haven't seen such a purple-y flower before. I hope you do catalog what you've got down there...I will have to stay tuned for that. I noticed on my trek last week that there were at least two species of manzanitas where I was driving, and even among those two a great variation in what stage of bloom they were at.