This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds” series – 30 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that attract hummingbirds.
Vine Hill manzanita
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn’
Size: Slow growing to 6 feet tall and wide.
Bloom season: Light pink blooms in late winter and early spring.
Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.
Pruning needs: Shape stems as desired; remove lower branches to display attractive trunk and bark.
Water needs: Medium to low; once established, water deeply once a week or every other week.
Snapshot: Anna’s Hummingbirds need nectar year round. This attractive California native helps bridge those gaps in late winter and early spring when little else is blooming. Horticulturist Howard McMinn gets credit for introducing this variety to the public in the mid-1950s. Native to the sandy soils along Vine Hill Road in Sonoma County, this shrub is more tolerant of garden conditions (and more water) than other manzanitas, which hate wet feet. Medium-sized and evergreen, this shrub offers a profusion of light pink flowers in late winter and early spring. In addition, its distinctive dark red bark makes it a landscape star.
For more on “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.