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Xylococcus bicolor Nutt.

Mission manzanita

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusXylococcusFrom the Greek for “wood berry”
SpeciesbicolorNamed for the two-colored flowers

About plant names...

Mission manzanita has a limited native range in California and Baja California, Mexico. There is speculation that this plant depends on grizzly bears, long gone from the region, to eat and distribute the seeds—the long-lived species may be on the decline.

Identification: This shrub reaches 9½′ (3 m) in height and about 6½′ (2 m) in diameter. Bark is gray at first, becoming reddish and somewhat peeling later. Leaves are narrow pointed ovals, dark green on top, light and feltlike on the bottom, curled downward. Flowers are white to pink to yellowish at the open end, bell-shaped, ¼-⅜″ (8-10 mm) long. Fruits are hard reddish fruits ¼″ (6.3 mm) around, composed almost entirely of a large, hard seed.

Online References:

Plants of San Diego County, California




The Jepson Manual

Arctostaphylos bicolor (Nutt.) A. Gray


Xylococcus bicolor description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Xylococcus bicolor (mission manzanita)

2/26/2010 · Torrey Pines State Park, La Jolla, Cali­fornia · ≈ 1½ × 1′ (52 × 34 cm)


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