Arctostaphylos rainbowensis

Rainbow manzanita

Plant Type: Shrub, Tree
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 12' X 8'
Santa Clara County Local: No
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Rainbow manzanita is a naturally rare endemic of Orange and Riverside Counties. It is named after the little town of Rainbow in the region where it is most common (sorry - not for the flower color). When first discovered it was thought to be an isolated population of a Mexican species, Arctostaphylos peninsularis, or a hybrid of Arctostaphylos glandulosa and Arctostaphylos glauca. Genetic studies disproved both hypotheses in the 1990s. Rainbow manzanita grows as an open, rounded shrub or vase shaped little tree. The leaves are olive green ovals. The open form shows off the smooth red bark. This interior manzanita is quite drought tolerant and appreciates well-draining soil and full sun. Over time, rainbow manzanita will develop a burl (rounded protrusion) where it interfaces with the soil. This allows it to sprout anew after wildfires.


Deer Resistant: Somewhat
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen