Field Guide to Manzanitas: California, North America, and Mexico

Michael Kauffmann, Tom Parker, and Michael Vasey with Photographs by Jeff Bisbee

Manzanita’s center of biodiversity is in the California Floristic Province, where they are the "rock stars" of woody shrub diversity. Ranging from the Sierra Nevada mountains to coastal bluffs along the Pacific, from temperate rainforests along the North Coast to arid mountain slopes in Southern California, a wealth of manzanita species and subspecies can be found in an astonishing array of environments.  

What is presented herein is an assimilation of images, descriptions, and range maps to better understand these plants through:

  • Color plates for identifying the world's manzanitas
  • Accurate and updated range maps
  • 28 manzanita hot-spots for finding them in the field
  • Spectacular photos from across North America
  • Simplified keys by region
  • Discussion covering endemism, ecology, and evolution of the genus

Sample Pages:

Table of Contents | Key
Species Plates | Destination


Book's Companion Website



ISBN 978-1-941624-02-9
LOC Control # 2015902037

Backcountry Press
Printed on recycled paper in the USA
in association with:
North Coast CNPS

Field Guide to Manzanitas

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“Through liberal use of gorgeous, diagnostic photographs, simplified descriptions, and keys to identification organized by geographic region, the authors and photographer have ensured that their extensive knowledge of manzanita diversity can be shared with readers of all backgrounds.”

−Bruce G. Baldwin, Curator of the Jepson Herbarium


“This new work is a magnificent achievement. The book is beautiful, imaginative, and an important contribution to our understanding of the California flora. It will now be the definitive guide to manzanitas, and the new standard by which other field guides are judged. ”

−Matt Ritter, author of Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us


“This all-star team has given us a beautiful book that is as rich and rare as the plants it celebrates. Much more than a guide to manzanitas, it is a tour of California, and an exploration of the diversity that makes this land wondrous and special.”

−Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society


"This well-crafted, lovely and informative book about the quintessential California genus, Arctostaphylos, fills an important and long-vacant niche in the botanical literature of California and western North America.   Anyone who has ever tried to identify a manzanita will be grateful for the authors’ shorter regional identification keys, detailed range maps, and fine photos."

−Julie K. Nelson, Northern California Botanist

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