(Plant Identification for everyone)

Eastwood Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa)

Eastwood Manzanita is a common shrub on dry, rocky slopes and ridges.  At the base of its main stem, you will always find a burl – a key identification point.   If a manzanita has been cut back or burned, you’ll frequently see new growth sprouting out of old burls.

Eastwood leaves are generally brittle feeling, and the hairs make them look somewhat grey.  Some Eastwood hairs have glands at the end (subspecies glandulosa), which makes the leaves feel like fine sandpaper.

Eastwood Manzanitas have beautiful bunches of tiny white/pink urn-shaped flowers.  As you can see in the picture below, behind the flowers, you can find small flattish leaf-like structures (bracts).

In Marin County, where it is the most common manzanita, the Eastwood is the only manzanita with a burl.  If you rub the leaf and it has a sandpapery feel, it is probably subspecies glandulosa, although the more common Marin subspecies is cushingiana.  [California Distribution Map]













Green leaves all year long

White/pink flowers



Field ID Tips

·  Always grows out of an exposed root ball (burl).

·  Leaves are rigid; brittle feeling.

·  Leaves sometimes feel like fine sandpaper.

·  Hairy stem, leaves and berries.

·  Behind the flowers, tiny, hairy, pale leaves (bracts) tilt towards the flower.

·  Fruit is a dusky red dented sphere.


Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana_Eastwood Manzanita 7__JB--__JB

Eastwoods always have a burl.  Burls are sometimes just under the dirt, but if you run your finger down the stem below the dirt, you’ll quickly find it.


Eastwood Manzanita_Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. glandulosa_Matt Davis Trail on Mt. Tam_2009-04-18__KF-__KF

Top of tiny flower has five delicate sepals.  Note, these flower stems (pedicels) join at a common point.


Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana_Eastwood Manzanita__JB--__JB

Fruit starts green and turns red, and is shaped like a dented sphere. 





Manzanitas of Marin


Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana_Eastwood Manzanita 4__JB--__JB

Beautiful delicate urn-shaped flowers.  Note the tiny leaf-like bracts behind the flowers.


Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana_Eastwood Manzanita 5__JB--__JB

Eastwood manzanita leaves, stems and fruit have hair on them.  This hair is not always obvious at first glance, but tends to make the Eastwood leaves look paler than most Manzanitas.


Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. glandulosa_Eastwood Manzanita 5__JB--__JB

This close up shows the hairs of subspecies cushingiana, without glands at the end of each hair.  It feels soft to the touch.  Subspecies glandulosa, with tiny glands that exude sap at the end of each hair, has a sandpapery feel.



© Creative Commons BY NC 3.0.  Contributors (identified by initials) are acknowledged at http://PlantID.Net/Contributors.htm

Last Updated 10/19/2014 by BHS.


Note to botanists – this page uses common vocabulary, sacrificing more precise scientific terms in the interest of general communication.  We hope the loss of precision in wording is, to some extent, made up for by photographs showing key identification points.


Note to non-botanists – Here are some terms you might be interested in:

·         Burl – In manzanitas, a burl is the top of the root structure, generally above ground although it can be covered on steep hills.  Feel the base of the stem to see if you encounter wood, or just ground.

·         Bract – Before a Manzanita flowers, it develops a distinctive pre-flower shape.  These nascent inflorescences may look like small leaves, brown scales, or red bumps.  Although the flower may only bloom a few months, these pre-flower structures can often be found most of the year.

·         Pedicel – A stem that joins the flower to the plant.  In the Eastwood Manzanita, several pedicels join the stem at a common point.

·         Sepal – A sepal is a petal-like structure that is just behind the actual petals.  In the Eastwood Manzanita flowers, five petals fuse together to form an urn, and five tiny sepals decorate where the flower stem (pedicel) meets the flower.