Manzanita is one of the most recognized shrubs in California, identified even by botanical novices. It is also one of the most admired. However, few people can identify the individual species of manzanita. In this presentation, we’ll look at some of the key characters of Arctostaphylos that are useful for identifying the individual species and subspecies, followed by a quick look at some manzanita relatives in the Ericaceae family.

Of the 105 species and subspecies, 104 occur either in California or northern Baja California. We’ll take a quick look at some Arctostaphylos growing outside the California floristic region, then concentrate on those within the state and northern Baja, considering 13 regions, pointing out which species occur in each region and the hotspots of manzanita diversity.

Jeff Bisbee is a botanist and botanical photographer. He has provided photos for a number of books, including Conifers around the World, and he has traveled throughout Mexico and the United States, photographing and collecting specimens of conifers, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, and other plants. He also cultivates many species of plants from seed collected throughout these regions. He is one of the editors and writers for the bulletin of the Cupressus Conservation Project.

Earlier on this same day, Jeff will lead a chapter field trip to see the Arctostaphylos of Mount Tamalpais.