Pointleaf manzanita, Mexican manzanita
From California, eastwards to New Mexico and a small area of west Texas
Between 3 and 10 feet
Open woodland, chaparral, canyons; 1,000 to 8,500 feet
Bright green, elliptic, up to 1.5 inches long
Arctostaphylos pungens occurs in most of the western states, inhabiting medium to high elevation woodland, where it blooms from late winter to early summer. Young stems have a sparse covering of short hairs, and all the branches are red-brown in color. Leaves grow on short stalks, are relatively longer and narrower - less rounded - than some other species, generally obtuse at the base and pointed at the tip. Leaf surfaces are shiny, and/or very finely hairy.
The greenish (withering to brown) bracts beneath the inflorescence are quite distinctive; they are narrow, strongly recurved, pointed at the tip and concentrated towards the upper end of the stalk. Flowers form as a short, elongated cluster, usually unbranched. The hairless pedicels are around a quarter of an inch long, similar in length to the urn-shaped flowers, which are colored white or pale pink.