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Vascular Plants of California
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Key to Arctostaphylos

View taxon page for Arctostaphylos

(For a list of species in Arctostaphylos, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Burls at base of main stem, also above or not; plant sprouting after fire

2. Leaves with stomata generally only abaxially, surfaces generally differing in color and/or hairiness

3. Old stem bark persistent, gray, shredding ..... A. tomentosa

4. Twig with glands ..... subsp. bracteosa

4' Twig without glands

5. Twig short-tomentose and long-nonglandular-hairy ..... subsp. daciticola

5' Twig short-tomentose or short-nonglandular-hairy

6. Leaves glabrous abaxially ..... subsp. hebeclada

6' Leaves  abaxially ..... subsp. tomentosa

3' Old stem bark generally smooth or peeling, ± red

7. Plant ; burls at base of main stem or occasionally above; fruit spheric blades oblanceolate to obovate or narrowly ; widespread ..... A. uva-ursi (2)

7' Plant ; burls at base of main stemfruit depressed-spheric;  blades oblong-ovate to lance-oblong; NCoRI, CW, n ChI..... A. crustacea

8. Twig, nascent inflorescence axes densely glandular-hairy ..... subsp. subcordata

8' Twig, nascent inflorescence axes glabrous or nonglandular-hairy, occasionally sparsely glandular-hairy

9. Twig with short and long hairs

10. Leaf abaxially densely nonglandular-hairy ..... subsp. crinita

10' Leaf abaxially ± nonglandular-hairy, in age glabrous ..... subsp. crustacea

9' Twig with short hairs

11. Leaf abaxially densely short-nonglandular-hairy ..... subsp. insulicola

11' Leaf abaxially glabrous

12. Pedicelovary glabrous ..... subsp. eastwoodiana

12' Pedicelovary generally short-nonglandular-hairy ..... subsp. rosei

2' Leaves with stomata on both surfaces, occasionally fewer adaxially, surfaces generally the same in color and/or hairiness (except Arctostaphylos pacifica)

13. Old stem bark persistent, shredding, gray ..... A. rudis (2)

13' Old stem bark smooth or peeling, ± red

14. Plant  to mounded; inflorescence , 0–1-branched

15. Leaf fruit dark brown; KR, NCoRO ..... A. nevadensis subsp. knightii

15' Leaf fruit ± red; CCo (San Bruno Mtn) ..... A. pacifica

14' Plant inflorescence 

16. Twig and/or inflorescence axes and/or bracts glandular

17. Glands golden, on short hairs; burl 0 or often flat, obscure; NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnGb, SnBr, SnJt ..... A. patula (3)

17' Glands black or clear (pink), on short and long hairs; burl hemispheric; NCo, KR, NCoR, CCo, SnFrB, SCoR, s SCo, TR, PR ..... A. glandulosa (in part) (2)

18. Leaves strongly white-glaucous ..... subsp. leucophylla

18' Leaves green to gray-green, ± glaucous

19. Twig generally glandular; NCo, KR, NCoR, CCo, SnFrB, SCoR, s SCo, TR, PR ..... subsp. glandulosa

19' Twig not glandular; SCoRO (c&e Santa Lucia Range) ..... subsp. howellii

16' Twiginflorescence axesbracts not glandular (except twig minutely glandular, inflorescence axes sparsely short glandular in Arctostaphylos rainbowensis)

20. Fruit spheric (depressed-spheric in Arctostaphylos mewukka)

21. Stones generally freefruit dark mahogany-brown; SNF, SNH ..... A. mewukka subsp. mewukka

21' Stones fusedfruit dark red to dark brown with ± purple tinge; SnBr, PR

22. Twig minutely glandular; PR (San Diego, Riverside cos.) ..... A. rainbowensis

22' Twig nonglandular; SnBr, PR (San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, San Ysidro mtns) ..... A. parryana

23. Leaves gray-glaucous; PR (San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, San Ysidro mtns) ..... subsp. desertica

23' Leaves green; SnBr ..... subsp. tumescens

20' Fruit depressed-spheric, (to ± spheric in Arctostaphylos patula)

24. Nascent inflorescence bracts scale-like or awl-shaped

25. Twig hairs 0 or nonglandular; leaves dull to bright green; burl prominent; NCoRI, CaRF (Butte Co.) ..... A. manzanita subsp. roofii

25' Twig hairs glandular or nonglandular; leaves bright green; burl 0 or often flat, obscure; NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnGb, SnBr, SnJt ..... A. patula (3)

24' Nascent inflorescence bracts at least occasionally leaf-like ..... A. glandulosa (in part) (2)

26. Leaves strongly white-glaucous; SW (except ChI) ..... subsp. adamsii

26' Leaves green, yellow-, or gray-green; KR, NCoR, SnFrB, SCoR, SCo (San Diego Co.), TR, PR

27. Twig hairs soft-wavy ..... subsp. mollis

27' Twig hairs not soft-wavy

28. Leaves shiny bright green; fruit depressed-spheric, stones fused or in 2(3) fused units ..... subsp. gabrielensis

28' Leaves not shiny or bright green; fruit depressed-spheric, stones generally free

29. Leaf blades dark green, margins often ± red; fruit markedly depressed-spheric; SCo (San Diego Co.) ..... subsp. crassifolia

29' Leaf blades green or gray-green; fruit not markedly depressed-spheric; KR, NCoR, SnFrB, SCoR, PR ..... subsp. cushingiana

1' Burls 0; plant not sprouting after fire

30. Leaves with stomata abaxially, surfaces generally different in color and/or hairiness

31. Flower parts in 4s; fruit 3–4 mm wide

32. Old stem bark smooth, ± red; w SnFrB (Bolinas Ridge, Mount Tamalpais, Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... A. sensitiva

32' Old stem bark generally rough or shredding, gray or red-gray; c NCo (Mendocino Co.), c&s NCoRO ..... A. nummularia

33. Plant  to mounded;   0.5–1.2 cm, 0.3–0.7 cm wide, oblong-elliptic; pygmy forest; c NCo (Mendocino Co.) ..... subsp. mendocinoensis

33' Plant  to   1–2.2 cm, 0.8–1.8 cm wide, round to round-ovate; coastal prairie, maritime chaparralclosed-cone forest; c NCo/NCoRO (Mendocino Co.)..... subsp. nummularia

31' Flower parts in 5s; fruit 5–15 mm wide

34. Leaf abaxially generally , sparsely so in age

35. Leaf  oblong-ovate to -elliptic, 1.5–3 cm, base ±  to ± ; plant ; s CCo (s Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... A. morroensis

35' Leaf  narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, 1–2 cm, base wedge-shaped; plant  to mounded; c CCo (around Monterey Bay, Monterey Co.) ..... A. pumila

34' Leaf abaxially glabrous or sparsely nonglandular-hairy

36. Plant generally  to low-mounded

37. Leaves oblanceolate to obovate, occasionally narrowly , base wedge-shaped; NCo, c SNH (above Convict Lake, Mono Co), CCo ..... A. uva-ursi (2)

37' Leaves  to round-ovate, base  to ± lobed; c CCo (nw Monterey Co.) ..... A. edmundsii

36' Plant 

38. Petioles 4–8 mm;  oblong-elliptic, base rounded, tip ; n ChI (Santa Cruz Island) ..... A. insularis

38' Petioles 1–2(4) mm;   to triangular-ovate, base lobed, tip ; n-c CCo, s&w SnFrB

39. Old stem bark smooth, ± red;  light green; w SnFrB (Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... A. andersonii

39' Old stem bark persistent, shredding, gray or ± red;  blue-green; n-c CCo, s SnFrB (Pajaro Hills) ..... A. pajaroensis

30' Leaves with stomata on both surfaces, surfaces similar in color and/or hairiness

40. Plant  to prostrate-mounded, 0.1–0.5(3) m

41. Petioles to 2 mm;  base lobed, clasping; nascent inflorescence bracts leaf-like

42. Twig, nascent inflorescencesovary nonglandular; < 150 m, c CCo (s Monterey, nw San Luis Obispo cos.) ..... A. cruzensis

42' Twig, nascent inflorescenceovary glandular; 200–400 m, CCo (San Bruno Mtn) ..... A. imbricata

41' Petioles 1–12 mm;  base rounded or  to wedge-shaped, not clasping; nascent inflorescence bracts scale-like (basal-most leaf-like in Arctostaphylos franciscana)

43. Twiginflorescence axesbracts glandular; e KR (Scott Mtn Divide, Slate Mtn) ..... A. klamathensis

43' Twiginflorescence axesbracts generally nonglandular; Sonoma Co. to San Luis Obispo Co.

44. Inflorescence , 3–5-branched;   generally 3–5 cm – s NCoRO (near Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co.) ..... A. stanfordiana subsp. decumbens

44' Inflorescence ±  or , 0–3(5)-branched;   generally 0.8–3 cm

45. Fruit 3–5 mm wide

46. Leaf  ± , 0.8–1.2 cm, 0.4–0.7 cm wide; fruit 3–5 mm wide; s CCo (n San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... A. hookeri subsp. hearstiorum

46' Leaf  round to round-elliptic, 1–2 cm, 1–1.5 cm wide; fruit 4–5 mm wide; n CCo (San Francisco Presidio) ..... A. montana subsp. ravenii

45' Fruit 6–8 mm wide

47. Twig gray-tomentose; bracts 3–4 mm; c CCo (San Francisco) ..... A. franciscana

47' Twig sparsely short-nonglandular-hairy; bracts near inflorescence base occasionally 5–10 mm; KR, NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, MP, n SNE (Sweetwater Mtns) ..... A. nevadensis subsp. nevadensis

40' Plant generally , occasionally mounded to erect, (0.1)0.3–8 m

48. Nascent inflorescence bracts fleshy, scoop-shaped or generally scale-like,  to awl-shaped, keeled or not

49. Inflorescence generally ± , occasionally 1–2-branched

50. Old stem bark persistent, shredding, gray – s CCo, s SCoRO (Nipomo, Burton mesas, Point Sal; sw San Luis Obispo, nw Santa Barbara cos.) ..... A. rudis (2)

50' Old stem bark smooth, dark red with ± gray or ± glaucous patches or ± red

51. Twig glandular-hairy; old stems dark red with ± gray or ± glaucous patches; n SNF (Amador, Calaveras cos.) ..... A. myrtifolia

51' Twig sparsely short-nonglandular-hairy; old stems ± red, without ± gray or ± glaucous patches; n CCo, s SnFrB (s Santa Cruz Mtns), SCoR, SnBr, PR, e DMtns

52. Nascent inflorescence spheric, cup-like, axis 0.3–1 cm, crook-necked, bracts ± fruit 3–8 mm wide; n CCo, s SnFrB (s Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... A. hookeri subsp. hookeri

52' Nascent inflorescence club-like, axis 0.5–1.5 cm, not crook-necked, bracts fruit 8–14 mm wide; SCoR, SnBr, PR, e DMtns ..... A. pungens

49' Inflorescence , (1)3–8-branched

53. Leaf  ± white, white-glaucous, gray-green, gray-glaucous

54. Fruit (10)12–16 mm wide, spheric or ± spheric

55. Stones free, occasionally some fused; nascent inflorescence bracts fruit glabrous; s CaRF, CaRH (near Paradise), n SNF ..... A. mewukka subsp. truei

55' Stones fused; nascent inflorescence bracts fruit glabrous or sticky; SnFrB, SCoR, TR, PR, sw DMtns (Little San Bernardino Mtns)

56. Petiole 1–4 mm;  glabrous or generally short-nonglandular-hairy, base lobed; ovaryfruit glabrous, not sticky; n SCoRI (n&c Gabilan Range, San Benito, Monterey cos.) ..... A. gabilanensis

56' Petiole 7–15 mm;  glabrous, base rounded, , or ± lobed; ovaryfruit glandular-sticky; Teh, SnFrB, SCoR, SCo, TR, PR, sw DMtns (Little San Bernardino Mtns) ..... A. glauca

54' Fruit 6–12 mm wide, depressed-spheric

57. Nascent inflorescence bracts nonglandular; KR, NCoR, CaRF, SN ..... A. viscida

58. Twig densely glandular-hairy;  sparsely short-glandular-hairy, scabrous; SN ..... subsp. mariposa

58' Twig glabrous to sparsely short-nonglandular-hairy;  glabrous

59. Ovaryfruit rough, sticky-glandular; KR, NCoR ..... subsp. pulchella

59' Ovaryfruit smooth, glabrous, not sticky; KR, NCoRI, CaRF, SN ..... subsp. viscida

57' Nascent inflorescence bracts glabrous or nonglandular- or glandular-hairy; KR, NCoRI (Sonoma, Colusa, Shasta, Trinity cos.), c&s NCoRO

60. Leaf  glaucouscanescent or densely white-tomentose, in age glabrousovary densely nonglandular-hairy; KR, NCoRI (Sonoma, Colusa, Shasta, Trinity cos.) ..... A. malloryi

60' Leaf ± glaucousglabrous or scabrousovary glabrous (minutely glandular-hairy); c&s NCoRO ..... A. manzanita subsp. glaucescens

53' Leaf  green, shiny or dull both surfaces, not ± white or ± gray due to ± glaucous or hairy surfaces

61. Twig glandular

62. Nascent inflorescence  to axes < 1 mm wide; bracts , ± = ; buds appearing as scattered beads

63. Leaf  1.5–3 cm, dull green; corolla white; twig finely glandular-hairy; KR, NCoRO ..... A. hispidula

63' Leaf  3–5 cm, bright green to ± glaucouscorolla white to pink; twig short-glandular-hairy; s NCoRI (s Mendocino, w Lake cos.) ..... A. stanfordiana subsp. raichei

62' Nascent inflorescence pendentaxes generally > 1 mm wide; bracts generally ± , > , buds not appearing as beads

64. Leaf  generally 2–6 cm, at least some > 3 cm, round to widely  or 

65. Glands of twig, nascent inflorescences dark or clear;  dull green, scabrousglandular; NCoRH, CaRF (Shasta, Tehama cos.) ..... A. manzanita subsp. wieslanderi

65' Glands of twig, nascent inflorescences gold or 0;  bright green, glabrous; NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnGb, SnBr, SnJt ..... A. patula (3)

64' Leaf  1.5–3 cm,  to 

66. Twig with occasionally long glandular hairs; siliceous shale, sw SnFrB (n Ben Lomond Mtn, nw Santa Cruz Co.) ..... A. ohloneana

66' Twig with glandular hairs or  glandsserpentine, s NCoRO (Sonoma Co.) ..... A. bakeri

67. Twig with glandular hairs; s NCoRO (central Sonoma Co. s of Guerneville) ..... subsp. bakeri

67' Twig with  glands; s NCoRO (Sonoma Co. from The Cedars to Healdsburg) ..... subsp. sublaevis

61' Twig nonglandular

68. Nascent inflorescence axis generally < 1 mm wide

69. Leaf  1–2.5 cm; bracts; buds not appearing as beads; plant mounded to ; s NCoRO (Vine Hill near Forestville, Sonoma Co.) ..... A. densiflora

69' Leaf blades 3–5 cm; bracts ± = ; buds appearing as scattered beads; plant ; NCoRO, c&s NCoRI ..... A. stanfordiana subsp. stanfordiana

68' Nascent inflorescence axis > 1 mm wide

70. Leaf  1–2.5 cm ..... A. montana subsp. montana

70' Leaf  1.5–5 cm

71. Ovaryfruit minutely glandular-hairy; plant ; KR, NCoR ..... A. manzanita subsp. elegans

71' Ovaryfruit glabrous; plant mounded or ; KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, s CaRF, n&c SNF, n SNH, ScV, n&e SnFrB, TR

72. Fruit sphericstones fused; TR ..... A. parryana subsp. parryana

72' Fruit depressed-spheric, stones free; KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, s CaRF, n&c SNF, n SNH, ScV, n&e SnFrB ..... A. manzanita (in part)

73. Leaf  bright green; inflorescence 2–4-branched, axis > 1 mm wide; nascent inflorescence branches to 15 mm; s NCoRI (Vaca Mtns), e SnFrB (Mount Diablo) ..... subsp. laevigata

73' Leaf  dull to bright green; inflorescence 4–7-branched, axis ± 1 mm wide; nascent inflorescence branches generally 15–25 mm; KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, s CaRF, n&c SNF, n SNH, ScV, n SnFrB ..... subsp. manzanita

48' Nascent inflorescence bracts generally leaf-like, flat

74. Old stem bark persistent, gray, shredding (except occasionally smooth on Arctostaphylos osoensis)

75. Leaf gray, dull, sparsely appressed-puberulent, in age glabrous, base rounded to wedge-shaped, not clasping; n SN (Placer, El Dorado cos.), c SNF (Tuolumne Co.) ..... A. nissenana

75' Leaf dark green, ± shiny, sparsely short-nonglandular-hairy or glabrous, base lobed, clasping; s CCo (w Los Osos Valley, San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... A. osoensis

74' Old stem bark smooth, ± red

76. Leaf gray-canescent in youth, glabrous in age

77. Leaf base lobed, clasping;  to 4 mm

78. Ovaryfruit glabrous; SCoRO (se of Cuesta Pass, San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... A. luciana

78' Ovaryfruit nonglandular-hairy or glandular- and nonglandular-hairy; eastern and southwestern SnFrB

79. Ovaryfruit nonglandular-hairy; e SnFrB (Mount Diablo and vicinity) ..... A. auriculata

79' Ovaryfruit glandular- and nonglandular-hairy; sw SnFrB (n Ben Lomond Mtn, nw Santa Cruz Co.) ..... A. glutinosa

77' Leaf base wedge-shaped, rounded, , or ± lobed, not clasping;  3–10 mm

80. Ovary glabrouscorolla white

81. Inflorescence 2–4-branched  8–10 mm; SCoRO (c&s Santa Lucia Range) ..... A. obispoensis

81' Inflorescence 0–1-branched, ±  5–7 mm; sw SnFrB (s Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... A. silvicola

80' Ovary glandular- or nonglandular-hairy; corolla pink or white ..... A. canescens

82. Ovary nonglandular-hairy; KR, NCoR, n CCo (Tassajara, Santa Lucia Range), w SnFrB (Mount Tamalpais; s Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... subsp. canescens

82' Ovary glandular-hairy; w KR, NCoRO, w SnFrB (Shasta-Santa Cruz cos.) ..... subsp. sonomensis

76' Leaf green to glaucousglabrous to variously hairy but not gray-canescent

83. Leaf base lobed (truncate to lobed in Arctostaphylos viridissima), often clasping (except Arctostaphylos hooveri with longer petiole)

84. Nascent inflorescence nonglandular-hairy

85. Pedicel nonglandular-hairy; n ChI (e Santa Cruz Island) ..... A. viridissima

85' Pedicel glabrous or sparsely nonglandular-hairy; s CCo, s SCoRO/WTR

86. Leaf  2–5 cm; fruit 8–12 mm wide; stones generally fused; s CCo (Morro Bay to Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... A. pechoensis

86' Leaf  1–2.5 cm; fruit 5–8 mm wide; stones free; s CCo, s SCoRO/WTR (w Santa Barbara Co.) ..... A. purissima

84' Nascent inflorescence glandular-hairy

87. Fruit 10–15 mm wide, sphericstones fused; s SCoRO/w WTR (Santa Ynez Mtns) ..... A. refugioensis

87' Fruit 6–10(15) mm wide, depressed-spheric; stones free; CCo, SnFrB, SCoRO

88. Leaf  generally , 2.5–4.5 cm, not boat-shaped, sparsely glandular or not but not sticky

89. Leaf  bright green, not glaucoustwig long-glandular-hairy; CCo (San Bruno Mtn), w SnFrB (Montara Mtn) ..... A. montaraensis

89' Leaf  green, glaucoustwig short- and long-nonglandular-hairy; e SnFrB (Sobrante, Huckleberry ridges; Alameda, Contra Costa cos.) ..... A. pallida

88' Leaf  oblong-ovate, 3–6 cm, boat-shaped, glandular-sticky in youth, glabrous but possibly still sticky in age

90. Petiole 3–6 mm; leaves not clasping; SCoRO (Santa Lucia Range) ..... A. hooveri

90' Petiole < 3 mm; leaves clasping; w SnFrB (n Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... A. regismontana

83' Leaf base rounded, , wedge-shaped, or ± lobed, not clasping (except occasionally in suspected hybrids of Arctostaphylos montereyensis and Arctostaphylos pajaroensis)

91. Lf-like bracts deep pink, glandulardeciduous after flower; SnBr, PR ..... A. pringlei subsp. drupacea

91' Lf-like bracts green, glandular or not, persistent after flower; NCo, nw&w KR, NCoRO, CCo, nw SnFrB, SCoRO, ChI, sw PR

92. Fruit sphericstones free or fused

93. Fruit 8–15 mm wide;  scabrous, base  to ± lobed; s ChI (Santa Catalina Island) ..... A. catalinae

93' Fruit 6–8 mm wide;  not , not scabrous, base wedge-shaped, rounded, or ; sw PR ..... A. otayensis

92' Fruit depressed-spheric; stones free

94. Inflorescence ± , 0–1-branched

95. Twiginflorescence axesbracts glandular; n CCo, nw SnFrB (Marin Co.) ..... A. virgata

95' Twiginflorescence axesbracts nonglandular (except occasionally minutely glandular in Arctostaphylos nortensis); nw KR, s CCo, s SCoRO

96. Pedicelovaryfruit nonglandular-hairy; 500–940 m, nw KR (n Del Norte Co.) ..... A. nortensis

96' Pedicelovaryfruit glabrous; 30–1250 m, s CCo (Pismo Beach vicinity), s SCoRO (s Santa Lucia, La Panza ranges and s) ..... A. pilosula

94' Inflorescence , 3–10-branched

97. Leaves overlapped; plant shrub to mounded or , 0.1–2 m; n ChI (Santa Rosa Island) ..... A. confertiflora

97' Leaves not overlapped; plant shrub or tree, 1–5 m; NCo, w KR, NCoRO, c CCo, n SCoRO

98. Leaf  to , dark green; nascent inflorescence generally short- and long-nonglandular-hairy, occasionally glandular-hairy; NCo, w KR, NCoRO ..... A. columbiana

98' Leaf round to oblong-ovate, bright green or ± glaucous; nascent inflorescence glandular-hairy; c CCo (Fort Ord), n SCoRO (Mount Toro, nw Monterey Co.) ..... A. montereyensis



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Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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