Arctostaphylos x coloradensis
There is a plant for every season in our Plant Select Demonstration Garden. A few of the species found there, like the manzanitas, are even attractive year-round and worth visiting anytime. If there is a season you don’t want to miss them, though, it’s spring.
The Plant Select program (www.plantselect.org) has released three varieties of manzanita, two of which are found in our Demonstration Garden: Panchito and mock bearberry. Each are selections of Arctostaphylos x coloradensis, a naturally occurring hybrid between A. uva-ursi and A. patula. These manzanitas are low-growing, sprawling, evergreen shrubs that thrive in sun to partial shade. Their broad, glossy, deep green leaves and their reddish bark give them year-round interest.
In early spring they produce dozens of clusters of white and pink flowers. The flowers -characteristic of many plants in the heath family – are bell-shaped and hang from the tips of branches, calling out to early pollinators and other garden visitors.
Written by IBG collections curator, Daniel Murphy