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Panchito Manzanita is one of my favorite plants- and not just because the name is so fun to say.  What sets this plant apart is that it’s:  1) low-growing, 2) evergreen , and 3) it can handle full sun and minimal watering.  That combination can be difficult to find outside of the standard limited options like the low-growing junipers.

As we convert more lawn areas into Xeriscape to save water, I think the use of evergreen plants is a vital design element to help replace some of the green color of the replaced lawn that is lost.  Panchito Manzanita is an excellent choice because it looks great year-round, stays fairly compact, and requires little maintenance.

PLANT STATS
Scientific Name:  Arctostaphylos x coloradoensis
Plant Type:  Evergreen Shrub
Mature Height:  12-24″
Mature Spread:  18″-48″ (quite variable, depending on conditions)
Water Requirement:  Low- may need more water the first growing season, but requires little water once established.
Exposure:  Full Sun to very light shade
Best Features:  Unique evergreen foliage consisting of leathery 1″ long leaves.  This plant really looks great year-round.
Flowers:  Small urn-shaped pink to white flowers from February to April
Winter Interest: Very attractive evergreen foliage, reddish colored stems and bark
Disadvantages:  Slow grower the first season or two
Availability and Sizes:  I have been told that this plant is quite difficult to propagate- therefor It can be a little hard to find.  As it gains more popularity and demand for it goes up, it should be available in larger quantities.  Usually it is sold in 1 gallon size containers.  Since it is slow-growing, a 5 gallon size shrub would be even better.
Maintenance Tip:  A low maintenance plant.  You may want to prune a branch or two here or there.
Other:  Named to Plant Select in 2006.  Do not confuse with Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, which prefers much more moisture and shade. 

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