Backcountry Press

Field Guide to Manzanitas

Manzanita’s center of biodiversity is in the California Floristic Province, where they are the “rock stars” of woody shrub diversity. Ranging from the Sierra Nevada mountains to coastal bluffs along the Pacific, from temperate rainforests along the North Coast to arid mountain slopes in Southern California, a wealth of manzanita species and subspecies can be found in an astonishing array of environments.

Field Guide to Manzanitas
ISBN 978-1-941624-02-9

Field Guide to Manzanitas presents an assimilation of images, descriptions, and range maps to better understand these plants through:

  • Color plates for identifying the world’s manzanitas
  • Accurate and updated range maps
  • 28 manzanita hot-spots for finding them in the field
  • Spectacular photos from across North America
  • Simplified keys by region
  • Discussion covering endemism, ecology, and evolution of the genus

Book $27.95


eBook $16.95


“Through liberal use of gorgeous, diagnostic photographs, simplified descriptions, and keys to identification organized by geographic region, the authors and photographer have ensured that their extensive knowledge of manzanita diversity can be shared with readers of all backgrounds.”

−Bruce G. Baldwin, Curator of the Jepson Herbarium

“This new work is a magnificent achievement. The book is beautiful, imaginative, and an important contribution to our understanding of the California flora. It will now be the definitive guide to manzanitas, and the new standard by which other field guides are judged. ”

−Matt Ritter, author of Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us

“This well-crafted, lovely and informative book about the quintessential California genus, Arctostaphylos, fills an important and long-vacant niche in the botanical literature of California and western North America.   Anyone who has ever tried to identify a manzanita will be grateful for the authors’ shorter regional identification keys, detailed range maps, and fine photos.”

−Julie K. Nelson, Northern California Botanist


4 thoughts on “Field Guide to Manzanitas

  1. Gary McDonald

    I just noticed that the “scale of miles” on the map (page 148) is incorrect. Based on that scale of miles, the distance across Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz to Monterey would be 62 miles, while the actual distance is about 22 miles. So, the location shown for Manzanita Park is abut 20 miles NW of the actual location.

  2. Gordon Nunnally

    Hello, we live west of Central Point Oregon and have some Manzanitas here that approach 30 feet tall. According to Field Guide to Manzanitas the nearest Manzanita that might get that tall is down near Redding CA. Ours doesn’t sprout from the stump when cut back to reduce the wildfire danger.

    Do you think we have a different species, different sub species or different variety thats not covered in your book?

    Gordon Nunnally

    1. Backcountry Press Post author

      Gordon- Great question. There is the possibility that you have A. viscida subsp. pulchella but most likely what is in your yard is subsp. viscida. Either way, this species can get quite tall.

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