Whiteleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita)

Whiteleaf Manzanita

Cowboys riding through the chaparral in the Sierra Nevada were not men who needed beauty. There wasn’t much they did need other than a steady horse and a good strong cup of coffee in the mornings. (Or so Hollywood Westerns would have us believe!)

But riding through the chaparral, they were sure to notice the beautiful native Whiteleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita). It grows naturally from Southern California up to Oregon and brings its wild rustic beauty to bear in unlikely places.

With its gray foliage and red bark, it makes a showy planting if you put it in a modern rock garden around boulders and with a thick layer of mulch. Plant it with oaks or pines and you quickly have an Instagram-worthy garden! It lives in red clay and in decomposed granite in the wild, so you know it will handle any poor garden soil you may have like a champ.

It has pendulous white early-summer flowers, but it is the striking red twigs that make it such a knock-out in the garden. They practically sing against the pale silver-gray leaves (which give the Whiteleaf its name). This beautiful shrub always has a bit of ‘cultivated wildness’ to it, so plant it where you can enjoy that aspect. It’s not meant to look formal but can be a real standout in a modern Californian landscape.

  • Drought Tolerant
  • Striking Red Bark
  • California Native

Whiteleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) Details

Common name Whiteleaf Manzanita
Botanical name Arctostaphylos manzanita
Hardiness zone 8-10
Growth rate Slow
Harvest time Summer
Height 15 - 20 ft.
Width 8 - 10 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Low
Soil condition Most Soils
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Broadleaved Evergreen