Arctostaphylos morroensis

Morro Bay Manzanita

This rare Manzanita grows on sand dunes along Morro Bay where it reaches 12 feet high. It has a tree-like shape, shredding gray bark, and bristly twigs with grayish leaves. White flowers appear in late winter. Plant it in full sun along the coast. This plant requires excellent drainage and does well in sandy soils.

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.