Arctostaphylos Species, Mexican Manzanita, Pointleaf Manzanita

Arctostaphylos pungens

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arctostaphylos (ark-toh-STAF-ih-los) (Info)
Species: pungens (PUN-gens) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Arivaca, Arizona

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Rio Rico, Arizona

Tonto Basin, Arizona

Oak View, California

Wildomar, California

Boulder, Colorado

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

San Antonio, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 6, 2009, Futaku from Boulder, CO wrote:

This species of Arctostaphylos is abundant at lower elevations in Washington County, Utah (extreme southwestern part of the state), and everywhere I have seen it growing it is in soils that appear to be derived from limestone. Hence, I do not think it is correct to insist too much on its requiring acidic to neutral soil.


On Dec 2, 2008, quiltygirl from No Central, AZ (Zone 7b) wrote:

Here in zone 9, Wildomar, CA we have enjoyed these shrubs. I allow some natives to seed and grow on the property (but not all or we would not be able to walk!). In libellule's article 11/28/08 on Winter Blooming Plants it says about Mexican Manzanitas: " According to the website Manzanita Works, this plant is considered a fire hazard, "The leaves hold an oily substance that is extremely combustible when the ambient temperature approaches the 100 degree mark..". That makes me a little nervous as we back up to a wildlife preserve AND we have MANY days over 100 degrees here.


On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

We love these plants! The structure is architecturally suited to our rolling hills and the wonderfully dark-hued red bark is a stand-out! The blossoms seem to be a gentle touch...almost a 'soft side' to an otherwise rugged survivor -- possibly a ying/yang effect.


On Dec 1, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've seen these growing in the wild in Tonto Basin, AZ and on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.

Also known as Point-leaf Manzanita


On Nov 28, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mexican Manzanita Arctostaphylos pungens is native to Texas and other States.


On Jan 14, 2006, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Mexican manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens) is also known as point-leaf manzanita, bear-berry, kinnikinnick, pinguica, palo de pinguica and Manzana. The genus name is from the Greek where "Arktos" refers to bear and "staphyle" refers to a cluster of grapes. Its genus name suggests that bears eat the fruit. "Pungens" refers to the sharp points at the ends of the leaves. The common name manzanita is Spanish for little apple referring to the small apple shaped fruit

It is an evergreen shrub (subshrub), is native to southern North America and Mexico which habitats woodlands, sunny woodland edges, rocky slopes, ridges and chaparrals. It often forms dense thickets. In Texas, it can be found in only two populations in the Trans-Pecos, although it grows west to California and n... read more