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Arctostaphylos pungens (Pointleaf manzanita)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Arctostaphylos pungens

Arctostaphylos pungens Kunth

Pointleaf Manzanita, Mexican Manzanita

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Arctostaphylos chaloneorum, Arctostaphylos pseudopungens, Arctostaphylos pungens ssp. chaloneorum

USDA Symbol: arpu5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Rounded shrub, often forming dense thickets. Branches with smooth red-brown bark.

A number of small mammals and ground birds eat the berries of this plant.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: White to pale pinkish.


USA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , TX , UT
Native Distribution: Across the Southwest from California and Nevada to Texas.
Native Habitat: Mixed shrub and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woods, drained sandy to gravelly areas, canyons, lower mountain slopes.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Use Wildlife: Berries consumed by mammals and birds.
Use Food: Manzanita berries were used to make a refreshing, cider-like drink by indigenous peoples.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Splendid royal moth
(Citheronia splendens)

Adult Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA

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

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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