Shrubs, erect, 1-3 m; burl absent; bark on older stems persistent, reddish, smooth; twigs sparsely short-hairy. Leaves erect; petiole 4-8 mm; blade bright or dark green, shiny, elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic, 1.5-4 × 1-1.8 cm, base obtuse to cuneate, sometimes rounded, margins entire, plane, surfaces smooth, finely tomentose, glabrescent . Inflorescences racemes, simple or 1-branched; immature inflorescence pendent, axis 0.5-1.5 cm, 1+ mm diam., sparsely short-hairy; bracts recurved and crowded at tip, (light green), scalelike, ovate-deltate, (clublike), 2-4 mm, apex acuminate, surfaces glabrous. Pedicels 5-10 mm, glabrous. Flowers: corolla white, conic to urceolate; ovary glabrous. Fruits depressed-globose, 5-8 mm diam., glabrous. Stones distinct. 2n = 26.
Flowering winter-early summer. Open pine forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, chaparral; 300-2600 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico.
Arctostaphylos pungens is one of the most widespread species in western North America, and extends south to Oaxaca, Mexico. In most western states, it is found in open pine forests and pinyon-juniper woodlands, generally at higher elevations. In California, it is a chaparral species that occurs in desert and peninsular ranges of southern California mountains and has three disjunct populations in central California in San Benito and Monterey counties. These disjunct populations have been given other names, A. benitoensis and A. pseudopungens, but overall populations are A. pungens.
PLANT: Shrubs with rigid, spreading branches, 1-2 m tall; bark reddish brown, smooth; branchlets densely pubescent. LEAVES: elliptic to lance-elliptic; blades 1.5-4 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, pale green, lustrous, glabrous; bases acute to rounded; tips acute and mucronate; margins entire (young leaves may be toothed); petioles 4-9 mm long, white-puberulent (Fig. 3). INFLORESCENCE: simple or few-branched racemes, densely white puberulent; bracts acuminate, 1.5-4 mm long (Fig. 4B). FLOWERS: 2-8 mm long; sepals with ovate lobes, reflexed, 1- 2 mm long, glabrous; corollas white to pink, urceolate; pedicels 2.5-6.5 mm long, glabrous; ovaries glabrous. FRUITS: depressed-globose, 5-11 mm wide, orange to brownish-red, glabrous. 2n = 26. NOTES: Rocky hillsides with interior chaparral and openings in ponderosa pine savannah: all cos. except Apache, La Paz, and Yuma; 1000-2500 m (3300-8200 ft); Feb-Jun; Mex. and TX, n to NV, UT. REFERENCES: Yatskievych, G. and M.D. Windham. 2008. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Ericaceae. CANOTIA 4 (2): 21-30.
Anderson 2008, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: pointleaf manzanita Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Shrubs with rigid, spreading branches, 1-2 m tall, smooth reddish brown bark, with densely pubescent branchlets. Leaves: Elliptic to lance-elliptic, blades 1.5-4 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, pale green, lustrous, glabrous, with acute to rounded bases, tips acute and mucronate, entire margins, although young leaves may be toothed, on petioles 49 mm long, white-puberulent. Flowers: Simple or few-branched racemes, densely white puberulent, acuminate bracts, 1.5-4 mm long; flowers 2-8 mm long, sepals with ovate lobes, reflexed, 1-2 mm long, glabrous; corollas pink to white, urceolate, on pedicels 2.5-6.5 mm long, glabrous, with glabrous ovaries. Fruits: Depressed-globose berries, 5-11 mm wide, orange to brownish-red. Ecology: Found on rocky hillsides among the chaparral type, up to openings in the ponderosa communities from 3,000-8,500 ft (914-2591 m); flowers February-June. Notes: Distinguished by its densely white puberulent inflorescence axis and the racemose inflorescence. The mucronate tip on the leaves is variable among most Arctostaphylos but is pretty obvious in this species. Ethnobotany: Leaves taken for diarrhea, as a ceremonial emetic, as a poison oak rash, the berries were eaten and made into a beverage, the branches were used as a construction material, the wood was used for firewood, to make pipes, and the leaves were mixed with other tobacco for smoking. Etymology: Arctostaphylos is from Greek arktos, bear and staphule, a bunch of grapes, while pungens means sharp, referring to the mucronate tip of the leaf. Synonyms: Arctostaphylos chaloneorum, Arctostaphylos pseudopungens, Arctostaphylos pungens subsp. chaloneorum Editor: SBuckley, 2010