The Del Mar Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. crassifolia), or Manzanita in Spanish, is native to California and Baja California, Mexico. It is a drought-tolerant plant with light green foliage and red berries that are a favorite of coyotes. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies assisting in the plant’s reproductive process. You will find this plant thriving on sandstone outcrops, coastal bluffs, and some chaparral plant communities at low altitudes.
San Diego County is home to 13 species of Manzanita which can be found from the coast to the mountains, but the Del Mar Manzanita is listed as endangered due to habitat loss through urbanization and agricultural development along southern California’s coastline. Its endangered status has it ranked as 1.B on the California Rare Plant Ranking System. Plants with this rank “meet the definitions of the California Endangered Species Act of the California Department of Fish and Game Code and are eligible for state listing.”
To see more photos of the Del Mar Manzanita, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: J. Scott Peterson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database