E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Arctostaphylos columbiana Piper
hairy manzanita
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5591)

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Distribution of Arctostaphylos columbiana
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Species Information

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Erect or spreading shrub, 1-3 m tall; old branches with purplish-red bark; young twigs and stalks greyish-hairy and usually distinctly bristly with longer, scattered, glandular hairs.
Alternate, evergreen, egg- or lance-shaped to elliptic, 2-5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, narrowed at the tip, finely greyish-hairy, especially beneath; stalks about 5 mm long.
In terminal clusters, densely hairy, bracts lance-shaped, 5-15 mm long, usually exceeding stalks; corollas urn-shaped, 6-7 mm long, white or pinkish; ovaries hairy.
Berries, blackish-red, 6-8 mm wide; nutlets coarsely reticulate-pitted on the back.
Hybrids often occur between this species and A. uva-ursi, where the two grow together (A. x media Greene).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry open forests and rock outcrops in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent in extreme SW BC; S along the coast to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arctostaphylos columbiana

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 75 275 1420
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
45 148 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(1), CWH(45), SWB(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant. submontane to montane, Pacific North American evergreen shrub. Occurs in maritime summer-dry cool mesoth­ermal climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-poor soils (Mor humus forms). Occasional in open-canopy, young-seral Douglas­fir forests, more frequent in the open and in clearings, on shallow, strongly drained soils on rock outcrops and upper slopes. An oxylophytic species characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Arctostaphylos columbiana subsp. nortensis (P.V. Wells) P.V. Wells
Arctostaphylos columbiana var. tracyi Eastw.
Arctostaphylos tracyi (Eastw.) J.E. Adams ex McMinn

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References