Arctostaphylos glandulosa howellii has white flowers and green leaves.
Arctostaphylos glandulosa howellii on Harris Grade, east of Lompoc.
Arctostaphylos glandulosa howellii from the top of Harris Grade.
Arctostaphylos glandulosa howellii
Butterflies like the manzanita flowers.
A very refined manzanita. Foliage is a glossy green. As a groundcover, it is low, 2 1/2 to 3 feet high (in the interior central coast ranges) and compact, spreading to around 4 feet wide, very good for a small garden, or massed, in a larger estate. This plant is amazing. Harris Grade manzanita is outstanding, outperforming many other coastal hills manzanitas, in the interior coast ranges, where the summers are long and hot, with nary a drop of fog or rain for months on end. Throughout 10 plus seasons, this manzanita has remained low, and green and beautiful. Native in the Lompoc hills where the Bishop Pine and California Huckleberry compete for the eye of an artist in a beautiful mountain scene. Mix with other groundcover types like Arctostaphylos refugioensis or viridissima for a woodsy garden. Throw in some Ceanothus 'Skylark' for more flowers and contrast and maybe a background of Arctostaphylos pechoensis, 'Louis Edmunds' or 'Austin Griffiths' for even a more refined prehistoric look. The taxonomy of the subspecies is best described as muddled. Jepson Manual lumps it with Arctostaphylos glandulosa. Smith in "A flora of the Santa Barbara Region" ignores it. Many of the other keys do not recognize it. But the bush is very distinct in the wild, and when grown next to the other forms. While I do not think it is a species, it needs to be distinguished from other forms of Arctostaphylos glandulosa. It is possible it is a stable and naturally occurring hybrid of glandulosa and crustacea. This is the glabrate form of Arctostaphylos glandulosa var. howellii, as described by McMinn, in "An Illustrated Manual of California Shrubs."
We've been struggling with the taxomony of the plant for years. It is different from most of the other manzanitas, Keeley, Vasey and Parker also struggled with it:
"Also in 1933, Eastwood named A. howellii
Eastw., a Monterey Co. pubescent taxon much
like A. cushingiana but with glandular rachises.
McMinn (1939) added that it had glandular fruits.
This taxon was recombined as A. glandulosa
Eastw. var. howellii Adams ex McMinn (McMinn
1939) and later A. glandulosa Eastw. subsp.
howellii (Wells 1968). Hoover (1970) suggested
this taxon was ‘‘an apparent intergrade’’ between
A. glandulosa and A. cushingiana and did not
formally recognize it. In later treatments, Wells
(1987, 2000a) also did not formally recognize this
taxon and considered it to be a morphological
form of A. glandulosa subsp. zacaensis." MADRON˜ O, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 42–62, 2007