Plant family: Ericaceae - Heath
Plant type: Shrub, Tree
Plant origin: N/A, California
Chaparral, Inland Sage Scrub
Decomposed Granite, Sandy Loam
Attracts Wildlife, Edible , Hedges and Screens, Important to Native People, Tolerates Hard Frost
Bigberry Manzanita is an evergreen shrub or small tree with interesting twisting branches and smooth red bark that readily peels. The leaves are pale gray-green. Young twigs appear waxy green. Leaves on the Bigberry are alternate, simple, 1 to 2 inches long, leathery, oval to ovate in shape, entire margins, whitened bluish green on both surfaces, and are generally oriented upright. The flower on this Manzanita is urn-shaped, pinkish white, appearing in terminal clusters in late winter and early spring. The fruit is round, sticky, 1/2 inch apple-like drupe, little pulp over a number of fused nutlets, ripening in late summer. A tasty jelly can be made from the fruit. It is a long-lived species, reaching 100 years of age or more, and it does not begin to fruit until it is around 20 years old.
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