Manzanita Park
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Brittle Leaf Manzanita

Arctostaphylos tomentosa ssp. crustacea

The leaves of Brittle-leaf Manzanita are similar in color to the leaves of Pajaro Manzanita, but they have little stems on the leaves and they are more brittle.

Brittle-leaf Manzanita plants form burls on their trunks. Burls are rounded growths that have pretty wood inside. Before World War II, smoking pipes were often made of Briarwood, which comes from Europe. Because of the war, the supply of Briarwood was cut off and people started making pipes from Manzanita burls. A pipe factory in Watsonville used Manzanita burls to make pipes and wiped out many Brittle-leaf Manzanita plants in the process.