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Arctostaphylos columbiana Piper
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Arctostaphylos columbiana var. tracyi, Arctostaphylos tracyi
USDA Symbol: ARCO3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This is an erect, much-branched, 5-15 ft. shrub with fuzzy, light-green foliage on a broadly spreading, oval crown. Evergreen leaves clothe the end of each twig, leaving the rest of the branching system naked. Bark is smooth and dark, red-brown. Flower clusters are short and dense with whitish-pink corollas. Berries are bright red and slightly velvety. A gnarled shrub of the coniferous forest understory.
Black Bears, deer, coyotes, and other mammals eat the fruits of this shrub, which is most abundant in southern Oregon. Difficult to grow
Beautiful evergreen shrub, resembles Arbutus.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Leaf Pubescence: Tomentose
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Flowers Bisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.
Leaf: Dull green
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch
Fruit: Red, Brown
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: CA , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Coastal areas from n. CA to s. B.C.
Native Habitat: Dry, wooded, rocky or clay slopes below 2500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: One of the faster growing manzanitas.eautiful evergreen shrub, resembles Arbutus.
BenefitUse Food: Manzanita berries were used to make a refreshing, cider-like drink by indigenous peoples.
Use Other: Young shoots were used by indigenous peoples to make fire drills.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationDescription: Hormone-treated cuttings in sand-peat are effective for propagation. Propagation by seed is can be difficult.
Seed Collection: The outer fleshy part of the furit may be removed by macering the fruits with water and separating the nutlets by flotation or air-screening.
Seed Treatment: Seeds of most Arctostaphylos species have hard seed coats and dormant embryos. Scarification (several hours in H2SO4) followed by stratification may improve germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.2 - Wildflowers Provide Activity in Summer, Beautiful Colorado Beckons, What is Rese...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Arctostaphylos columbiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Arctostaphylos columbiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Arctostaphylos columbiana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff