Arctostaphylos densiflora 'White Lanterns'

Vine Hill Manzanita

A. densiflora, or Vine Hill Manzanita, is a rare plant species endemic to Sonoma County. Only 20-30 plants still exist in the wild, currently protected on land owned by the California Native Plant Society. This broadly-domed, intricately-branched evergreen shrub grows 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. Its dark reddish-brown bark makes an attractive contrast to the bright green leaves. It is one of the heaviest-blooming Manzanitas and offers an amazing display of showy white flower blossoms opening from pink buds in late winter. It is exceptionally disease-resistant. Plant this drought-tolerant Manzanita in full sun.

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.