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Products > Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn'
Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' - Manzanita
Image of Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Ericaceae (Heaths, Heathers)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Light Pink
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' (Manzanita) - A medium-sized, evergreen mounding shrub to 7 to 10 feet tall by as wide with a densely-branched structure - can be kept smaller by pruning. It has beautiful smooth dark red bark and narrow 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch long shiny green leaves and from late winter into spring appear intensely-showy clusters of many small white flowers, tinged with light pink. Plant in full sun to light shade. Though it requires little irrigation in coastal gardens, this plant can tolerate occasional watering, even overhead, which makes it both drought and garden tolerant. It is hardy to 0-10 degrees F. This selection of the Vine Hill Manzanita, Arctostaphylos densiflora, a species (some consider it a possible hybrid between A. manzanita and A. stanfordiana) with a very restricted natural range near Sebastopol in Sonoma County, is considered to be one of the most dependable and adaptable manzanitas and it can be grown in sandy or heavy soils on the coast in full sun and in inland gardens with some shade. This plant was a selection introduced by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1955 from plants given to them by Howard McMinn, the native plant author and Mills College Botany Professor. McMinn cultivated Arctostaphylos densiflora seedlings on the Mills College in Oakland from seed he had collected in habitat and it is fitting that this outstanding selection was named for him and then received the Award of Merit from the California Horticultural Society in 1956. It was originally described by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation as a low shrub, growing to 5 feet tall, but in the half century since its introduction, it has become apparent that this plant can reach nearly twice this height. The name Arctostaphylos was given to the genus by the French (of Scottish descent) naturalist Michel Adanson (1707-1778), who first named the circumboreal Arctostaphylos uva-ursi for plants found in Europe. The name comes from the Greek words 'arktos' meaning "bear" and 'staphyle' meaning "grapes" in reference to bears eating the fruit and the common name Bearberry also references this fact.  The information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information that would aid others in growing Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn'.