Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd' (Dr. Hurd Manzanita) - An evergreen shrub to small tree that grows fairly rapidly to 12-15 feet tall and about as wide, with an open structure and beautiful dark mahogany red barked stems holding large ovate light green leaves at their tips. The clusters of small white flowers dangle at the branch tips in late winter.
Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally to not at all. It is reliably hardy to 10 degrees F and reportedly able to tolerate even lower temperatures. In a Oregon State University study on many different manzanita during a period when the area experienced a hard freeze with a low temperatures to 7 degrees F for nearly an entire week, Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd' was not damaged. This cultivar of the northern California Arctostaphylos manzanita is also more garden tolerant than selections of its southern counterpart, Arctostaphylos glauca, and tolerates occasional garden irrigation and poor soil conditions.
This selection of Arctostaphylos manzanita was made by John Coulter of the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation in 1972, who found it growing in the garden of Dr. Cuthbert Hurd in Portola Valley and was thought to have originated from the Louis Edmunds Native Plant Nursery. The Saratoga Horticultural Foundation noted that, while the plant had obvious affinities with Arctostaphylos manzanita, it was undoubtedly of hybrid origin and some speculate it is a hybrid between Arctostaphylos manzanita, and Arctostaphylos stanfordiana. In Sonoma County, California, these two species occur together and hybridize freely.
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.
Information about Arctostaphylos manzanita 'Dr. Hurd' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.