This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
Arctostaphylos pajaroensis ‘Paradise’
Size: 6 to 7 feet high and wide.
Bloom season: Deep rose pink flowers in January and February.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: None except to shape as desired.
Water needs: Very low water; once established, water deeply once a month.
Snapshot: Paradise manzanita is a beautiful, large evergreen shrub that’s useful for screening and color in the back of the garden. Year-round, it has attractive bluish-green leaves with brilliant red new growth in fall and winter. When pruned or hedged, that red growth seems to cover the whole shrub. The bark of the shrub’s branches also have that distinctive dark-red manzanita color. Native to California, manzanitas need reasonably well-drained soil and should not be used anywhere that has periods of standing water – they like to keep their “feet” dry. This variety has large, dense pink flower clusters. Bees and hummingbirds love those blooms, too.
For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.