Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd'

Dr. Hurd Manzanita

This is a tree-like shrub which grows up to 15 feet tall. Often used as a specimen tree, this Manzanita is prized for its red, peeling bark and twisted branching patterns. It has clusters of white bell-shaped flowers from January through March. It needs loose, well-drained soil (it is attractive on a mound with boulders) and full sun. Good companion plants are Sage, Holly-leaf Cherry, Toyon, and Monkeyflower.

Wildlife value: The word manzanita means “little apple”. Birds love to eat the berries. Hummingbirds sip nectar from the blossoms.

Other uses: Manzanita is prized for its many uses. The berries can be eaten raw or cooked and are known to quench thirst (if you happen to find yourself in the wild without a canteen). The berries, leaves, and smooth mahogany-colored wood have all been used as food, medicine, and for tools.