Manzanita are a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees that are mostly native to the western part of North America. They have thick, smooth-edged leaves that persist through the cold winter months and provide much needed beauty to the winter landscape. Additionally they supply wildlife with a great source of food and shelter. In late winter and early spring they form clusters of small, urn-shaped flowers that are pink or white. These flower clusters hang from the branches for nearly 6 weeks until temperatures begin to warm up.  Mature plants will produce tiny, dark red berries in the summer.

Fort Collins Nursery has several varieties of Manzanita in stock including Panchito manzanita, Chieftan manzanita, and Mock Bearberry manzanita.  Each of these awesome Plant Select® selections are native to Colorado and are adapted to our dry climate, soils, and fluctuating temperatures.

Panchito Manzanita

Panchito is an outstanding selection of manzanita that comes from the Uncompahgre Plateau near Grand Junction. This exceptional variety is a Plant Select® selection that was first introduced in 2006. Panchito manzanita is a broadleaf evergreen with beautiful cinnamon-red to purple exfoliating bark. The leaves are a deep green and can turn a deep red or purple color in the fall.  Panchito manzanita is a versatile shrub that can be grown as a single specimen or planted in groups as a groundcover. It grows best in well-drained soil with moderate water for the first two years and is drought tolerant once fully established.

  • Height: 2-3’
  • Width: 3-5’
  • Water: Low
  • Bloom: White/Spring
  • Zone: 4

Chieftain Manzanita

Chieftain Manzanita is another Uncompahgre Plateau selection that is taller and much more vigorous than our other manzanita varieties. It is a more recent Plant Select® selection that was introduced in 2013. It has smooth cinnamon-red to purple exfoliating bark and bright oval shaped evergreen leaves. The leaves darken to a bold green and persist through the winter. Pretty white flowers tinged with pink appear in spring followed by delightful red berries in fall. Chieftain manzanita does best in well-draining soils.

  • Height: 3-4’
  • Width: 8-10’
  • Water: Low once established
  • Bloom: Spring/ Pink
  • Zone: 4

Mock Bearberry Manzanita

Mock Bearberry manzanita was a 2005 Plant Select® selection, chosen for its hardiness and adaptability. This low growing shrub provides texture year round with its green leaves and deep-red bark. The spring bloom of small urn-shaped, pink flowers brings early season color and is followed by attractive red berries. This moderate to slow grower prefers well-draining sandy soils and is very drought tolerant once established.

  • Height: 1-2’
  • Width: 3-5’
  • Water: Moderate – Low
  • Bloom: Spring/ Pink
  • Zone: 4

Originally published on April 4th, 2018. Updated on September 5th, 2019.