With their smooth red bark, delicate urn-shaped flowers and sculptural forms, manzanitas (Arctostaphylos species) are among California's most distinctive, diverse (nearly 90 taxa are recognized as occurring in the state), and widespread plants. The Botanic Garden's collection of 60 taxa is best viewed in the Manzanita Section, where all forms of the genus, from low-growing ground covers to mid-sized shrubs and small trees can be seen.
The collection also includes 45 manzanita cultivars selected by horticulturists for their outstanding ornamental value. Some of the Garden's oldest and grandest trees are also found in this area, including big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), bigcone spruce (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa), and grey pine (Pinus sabiniana).
A standout feature in spring is the pink-flowered Canyon Pink horse-chestnut (Aesculus californica 'Canyon Pink'), a cultivar introduced by the Botanic Garden.
In the southern portion of the display is a mixed border featuring a striking collection of woody and herbaceous perennials that illustrates how water-thrifty native plants can be combined to achieve year-round color and interest. One of the three beds is devoted to silver and gray-leaved species.
For information about the location of a display within the Garden please see the map below.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices.