any of about 50 species of evergreen shrubs and trees of the genus Arctostaphylos, of the heath family (Ericaceae), native to western North America. The leaves are alternate, thick, evergreen, and smooth-edged. The small, urn-shaped flowers are pink or white and are borne in terminal clusters. Except for one species, the bearberry (A. uva-ursi), which is found in Europe, Asia, and North America, species of manzanita are native to western North America. Some species-e.g., A. manzanita, the common manzanita, and A. stanfordiana, the stanford manzanita-are cultivated for their showy, massive displays of flowers and beautiful smooth bark. The fruit of the manzanita is a smooth brown or red berry that contains one or more stones.
Learn more about manzanita with a free trial on Britannica.com.