Commonly known as ‘Manzanita’ and popular for their colourful bark Arctostaphylos also have pretty urn shaped flowers. some of the more useful varieties are the low growing types that work well as ground cover plants.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is known as ‘Bearberry’ while ‘Howard McMinn’ and ‘Emerald Carpet’ are popular cultivars. Plants are available from a few specialist nurseries only. These are another group of plants that are also promoted for the medicinal uses of the berries.
A native of California and surrounding areas, with species of ranging from ground covers and small shrubs through to small trees the genus is varied. Arctostaphylos are regarded ar drought tolerant. Try growing Arctostaphylos or ‘Manzanita’ in a well drained humus rich soil and a sunny position.
A. pungens is known as the ‘Pointed Leaf Manzanita, olive green foliage on a fairly open growing shrub. Evergreen and excellent in a sunny position in a well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established and a very attractive mahogany trunk develops over time.
Grow it for the nectar filled flowers or the the attractive bark, especially good looking after rain.
Drought tolerant and frost resistant, once established these are a very hardy plant. They do not seem fussy about soil conditions and only require extra water until they are established.
Propagation from seed requires a fire treatment to break the dormancy cycle of the seeds themselves.
Arctostaphylos plants are available for sale from the following nurseries
82 David Hill Rd Monbulk (Opposite Vika Ave)
Japanese Maple and Magnolia specialists, Wholesale and Retail. Large range of other deciduous and evergreen ornamental trees and shrubs.