The Manzanitas are a subgenus of the genus Arctostaphylos. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees present in the chaparral biome of western North America, where they occur from southern British Columbia in Canada, Washington to California and New Mexico in the United States, and throughout much of northern and central Mexico. They are characterised by smooth, orange or red bark and stiff, twisting branches. There are about 60 species of manzanita, ranging from ground-hugging coastal and mountain species to small trees up to 6m tall. Manzanitas bloom in the winter to early spring and carry berries in spring and summer. The berries and flowers of most species are edible.
See also Bearberry for other species in the same genus.
The word manzanita is the Spanish diminutive of manzana (apple). A literal translation would be little apple. The name manzanita is also sometimes used to refer to species in the related genus Arbutus, which is known by that name in the Canadian area of the tree's range, but is more usually known as madroño, or madrone in the United States.