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Arizona Madrone

:  Manzanita, madrone

BOTANICAL NAME:  Arbutus arizonica (ar-BEW-tus   air-ah-ZONE-eh-ka)
FAMILY:  Ericaceae (Heath Family or Blueberry Family)

HABIT:  Large shrub or small delicate tree 15-20 ft with reddish bark. The trunks of these trees are gray and checkered, and the branches are reddish with smooth bark. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 1.5 to 3 inches long, 0.5 to 1 inches wide, light green, glossy above, pale green below and smooth with reddish leaf stems. The flowers are urn-shaped, white to pale pink and clustered at the branch tips from April to September. Orange fruits are semi-fleshy, edible and last into the winter. Young bark peels with typical exfoliation of all madrones. It can grow to 40 feet and 1.5 feet in diameter but that’s rare. The light gray bark grows in rectangular plates. 

CULTURE:  Found in the mountains of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and northern Mexico. Arizona madrones are found in canyon bottoms and hillsides in oak-pine zones at elevations of 4,000 to 8,200 ft. 

USES:  Specimen or decorative understory ornamental.
NOTES:  The photos here were taken in the Prescott area of Arizona.



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