Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Heath Family (Ericaceae). Greenleaf manzanita is an erect evergreen shrub 1-2 m tall, with a broad, rounded crown. It has a basal burl and consequently resprouts after fire. The bark of young twigs is resinous to short hairy with golden glands, but mature bark is smooth and bright red-brown. Leaves have short petioles with ovate to almost round blades that are 2-5 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide, bright yellowish green, and glabrous on both sides. The flowers, which open from April to June, are arranged in panicles with glandular scale-like bracts that are 3-7 mm long. The urn-shaped corollas are white, sometimes tinged with pink, and 6-8 mm long. The
fruits are globose, 7-11 mm in diameter, smooth and chestnut brown, with a mealy pulp that encloses several, hard-walled seeds.
Hybrids between greenleaf manzanita and the prostrate kinnikinnick (A. uva-ursi) are found wherever the two species come into contact. Such hybrids have a spreading form, dense foliage, and white to pinkish flowers, which offer some promise as landscape ornamentals in areas experiencing cold winters.