Plant family: Ericaceae - Heath
Plant type: Shrub, Slope Stabilizer
Plant origin: N/A, California, Floristic Provence of Baja, Other Southwest
Chaparral, Desert, Inland Sage Scrub
Decomposed Granite, Sand, Sandy Loam, Alkaline, Rocky
Hedges and Screens, Slope Stabilizer, Tolerant of Clay Soil
A. pungens is found in pockets all along the coastal mountain ranges in California, and pushes out east to Texas and Mexico, leading to one of its common names, Mexican manzanita. This hardy shrub will take full sun in desert like conditions, but alternately thrives on dry slopes even on north facing hillsides. The branches of this plant boast the gorgeous trademark shiny red bark, while gently tapered dark green leaves lend it its other common name, Pointleaf manzanita. Pointleaf manzanita does well in difficult planting sites, withstanding wind, high elevations, and alkaline and serpentine soils. Pointleaf manzanita can be found growing in clay, sand, and gravel, and needs little supplemental irrigation once established. A. pungens is a great representation of classic manzanita shape, growing between 3 and 6 feet tall and almost as wide. Pointleaf manzanita flowers in spring with white urn-shaped flowers that are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. A hardy evergreen shrub or small hedge for any neglected, wild spot in the garden, with especially handsome red bark.
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