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Vascular Plants of California
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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ArctostaphylosView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MANZANITA
Habit: Shrub to small tree, prostrate to erect. Stem: old stems generally +- red, smooth, bark generally thin, peeling, or generally +- gray or red-gray, shredding and rough; burls at base, woody, sprouting after fire, or generally 0; twig hairs 0 or generally +- like those on inflorescence axes, bracts. Leaf: alternate, evergreen; blade flat to convex, base lobed to wedge-shaped, clasping stem or not, margins generally flat, surfaces with stomata generally both abaxially, adaxially, alike in color, hairiness, less often only or fewer abaxially, generally differing in color, hairiness. Inflorescence: +- raceme (generally 0--1-branched) or panicle (generally 2--10-branched), terminal, nascent inflorescence present following stem growth, generally late spring through winter, remaining dormant 4--6 months prior to flower (except in Arctostaphylos pringlei subsp. drupacea); branches 0 or raceme-like; flower bracts leaf-like, generally flat, or scale-like, often folded, keeled, tips rounded to acute to awl-shaped. Flower: radial; sepals 5(4), free, persistent; corolla conic to urn-shaped, lobes in number = sepals, short, rounded, curved back, white to pink; stamens 2 × number of sepals, included, filaments swollen, generally hairy at base, anthers dark red, awns elongate; ovary superior, on disk, 4--10-chambered, ovule 1 per chamber. Fruit: drupe, generally +- depressed-spheric to spheric; flesh generally thick, +- mealy, occasionally 0; stones 2--10, free, fused, or some fused.
Species In Genus: +- 62 species: North America (especially California) to Central America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: bear berries)
Unabridged Note: Rosatti (1986 Syst Bot 12:61--77) showed that in Arctostaphylos uva-ursi little to none of the variation in hairs (including length, glandularity) is genetically based.
eFlora Treatment Author: V. Thomas Parker, Michael C. Vasey & Jon E. Keeley
Reference: Keeley 1997 Madroño 44:109--111; Parker et al. 2007 Madroño 54:148--155
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.
Habit: Prostrate to mounded, 0.1--0.5 m; burled or not. Stem: twig (and nascent inflorescence axis) sparsely short-nonglandular-hairy, occasionally long-nonglandular- and/or short-glandular-hairy. Leaf: spreading; petiole 2--4 mm; blade 1--2.5 cm, 0.5--1.5 cm wide, oblanceolate to obovate, occasionally narrowly elliptic, abaxially light green, shiny, sparsely puberulent, in age glabrous, adaxially dark green, base wedge-shaped, tip obtuse, occasionally acute, margin entire, often cupped; stomata abaxial. Inflorescence: +- raceme, 0--1-branched; nascent inflorescence pendent, axis 0.3--1 cm, > 1 mm wide; bracts 2--6 mm, scale-like, narrowly deltate, acuminate, glabrous; pedicel 2--4 mm, glabrous. Flower: ovary glabrous. Fruit: 6--12 mm wide, spheric, glabrous; stones free. Chromosomes: 2n=26,52.
Ecology: Rocky outcrops, slopes, stabilized dunes, closed-cone conifer forest, grassy coastal headlands, chaparral, subalpine forest; Elevation: generally < 100 m (2400--3300 m in c SNH). Bioregional Distribution: NCo, c SNH (above Convict Lake, Mono Co), CCo; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Greenland, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico; also Guatemala, circumboreal. Flowering Time: Jan--Jun
Synonyms: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi f. adenotricha (Fernald & J.F. Macbr.) P.V. Wells; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. adenotricha (Fernald & J.F. Macbr.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi f. coactilis (Fernald & J.F. Macbr.) P.V. Wells; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. coactilis (Fernald & J.F. Macbr.) Á. Löve, D. Löve; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi var. coactilis Fernald & J.F. Macbr.; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi var. leobreweri Roof; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi var. marinensis Roof; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. monoensis Roof.
Jepson eFlora Author: V. Thomas Parker, Michael C. Vasey & Jon E. Keeley
Reference: Keeley 1997 Madroño 44:109--111; Parker et al. 2007 Madroño 54:148--155
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

botanical illustration including Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


Citation for this treatment: V. Thomas Parker, Michael C. Vasey & Jon E. Keeley 2012, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=13990, accessed on June 06, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 06, 2020.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2017 Steve Matson
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2010 Vernon Smith
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2002 California Academy of Sciences
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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© 2013 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Arctostaphylos uva-ursi:
NCo, c SNH (above Convict Lake, Mono Co), CCo
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).