Blooming within canyons and along rocky slopes in early spring, you can find Mexican manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens) with its small whitish to pink bell shaped flowers. After pollination, these flowers turn into small red fruits that remain edible to wildlife from the summer throughout the winter. This plant gets its common name from the Spanish word “manzanita,” meaning little apple. The fruits are also edible to people, although very tart and mealy, and were eaten when other food sources were scarce. The attractive bark of this medium to large sized shrub (growing up to nine feet tall) features a red to maroon color and the pointy leaves stay on this shrub throughout the winter.
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