The Native to California Manzanitas can be a great choice to plant in your landscaping project. There are many different varieties available to choose from that will suit the climate of the San Joaquin Valley. There are so many species to choose from it can be difficult know what ones are going to suit your personal taste vs, what the climate will allow.
There is a book called Native Treasures written by M.Nevin Smith that has much to say about the native treasures of manzanitas in particular the tree like like manzanitas: ” A. Glauca. Bigberry manzanita. This Impressive manzanita occupies a wide range of habitats in the mountains of central and southern California. It is encountered as a stout shrub or small tree, up to 20 ft. tall. The trunks are beautifully formed and covered with satiny reddish brown bark. Set along them are broad blue -to gray-green leaves up to two inches long.
Bigberry manzanita has a broad range flowering seasons, from January to April. The flowers are relatively large (about a third of an inch long) and mostly pure white. They are followed by shiny half-inch berries that make a fine display for several months each year. It is incredible to me that a plant as common and beautiful as this has, with rare exceptions, been generally ignored by commercial growers. With so many ornamental features and undisputed heat and drought tolerance, it would seem promising for use in the central valley and foothill regions.”
A. manzanita. Parry manzanita. This manzanita, though a common (but never tiring) sight in northern California and the namesake of the whole group, is still not well known. Like A. glauca, it has stout, often picturesque trunks, rising as high as twenty feet. They are clothed in beautiful smooth, Reddish brown bark, silky to the touch. Rather loosely set along the stems and held in a conspicuously vertical plane are broad leaves up to two inches long and bright green to gray-green in color. Generous clusters of white to pale pink flowers make a beautiful display. The large reddish berries that follow are also quite decorative.
Like A. glauca, too this species has outstanding heat and drought tolerance. Its reputation for difficulty stems from the limited tolerance to many individuals to summer irrigation. However, both ‘Dr. Hurd’, a very stocky, green-leaved introduction by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation, and my own ‘St. Helena’, with grayer foliage, have performed well in a wide variety of landscape settings.”