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Arctostaphylos columbiana

Arctostaphylos columbiana Piper

Hairy Manzanita

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
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 Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May


Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Coastal areas from n. CA to s. B.C.
Native Habitat: Dry, wooded, rocky or clay slopes below 2500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water 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.


Use 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
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes


Description: 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 Directory

According 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


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1987 VOL. 4, NO.2 - Wildflowers Provide Activity in Summer, Beautiful Colorado Beckons, What is Rese...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Arctostaphylos columbiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Arctostaphylos columbiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Arctostaphylos columbiana


Record Modified: 2022-10-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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