Manzanita Park is located in beautiful
Monterey County in California. It is about 500 acres. 50 acres are
set aside for youth recreation while the rest of the land is a Nature
Preserve. There are rare and endangered plants in the park as well
as many other native plants. The park also has several non-native
invasive plants that threaten the maritime chaparral habitat.
The park is named after the Manzanita
plants that are native to the area. Manzanita means "little
apple" in Spanish, and the fruit of the Manzanita plants do
look just like tiny apples. The Manzanita flowers look like little
bells and the bees love them.
Manzanita Park is home to 3 kinds
of Manzanita plants. They are Pajaro
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pajaroensis), Hooker's
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri/hookeri), and Brittle-leaf
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos tomentosa ssp. crustacea).
Here is some more important information
about Manzanita plants.
Young Manzanita plants often grow close to the ground and may be
only about a foot tall, but older plants get fairly large and can
be the size of an elephant.
When you look at the Manzanita in Manzanita Park you can see 2 main
colors. The Hooker's Manzanita is more green, and the Pajaro Manzanita
and Brittle-leaf Manzanita are blue green. When the new leaves come
out in the spring, they are red at the tips.
Hooker's Manzanita and Brittle-leaf Manzanita have leaves with their
own little stems called petioles. Pajaro Manzanita has leaves that
don't have their own stems; the leaves are stuck right on to the
main stem. These are called sessile leaves, and they are not very
common in plants.