U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

Kids' Species Information

Pallid Manzanita

Photo: Kirsten Tarp, USFWS

Pallid Manzanita


Threatened. This means that we are worried about the species but that it is not in danger of going extinct right now.

We are working on a recovery plan. It includes this species. It also includes the Alameda Whipsnake.


Pallid manzanita is a woody shrub. It grows about 2 to 4 meters high. (6.5 to 13 ft)

Bark is rough and gray or reddish. (See picture. Twigs and leaves are bristly.


Thin soils in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Often surrounded by oak woodlands and coastal shrub.

Chaparral species

Drawing: Miriam Morrill, USFWS


Pallid manzanita makes flowers between December and March. The seeds need to be scarred in order to grow. Wildfire was the way that this happened.

Fire helps reproduction in other ways. It removes leaf and bark litter, fallen fruits and roots. These things can keep the seeds from germinating.


Alameda and Contra Costa counties, California. 656 to 1,460 feet in elevation.


Wildfire prevention is the main threat. Like many plants, pallid manzanita needs occasional fires to thrive. As we mentioned above, fire is important for reproduction. It also keeps the species from getting too much shade. Shade allows fungus to grow. The fungus causes bark to strip off.

Because homes are now being built close to the manzanita plants, people try to prevent wildfires.

Words to Learn

Botanists call the pallid manzanita Arctostaphylos pallida. Scientific names are in Latin or Greek.

Pallid manzanita is in the heath family. (Ericaceae)

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Last updated: November 29, 2017