San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Rainbow manzanita
Arctostaphylos rainbowensis

Kingdom Phylum Subphylum Class Order Suborder Family

Current distribution rangewide

Peninsular Ranges of San Diego and Riverside County [1].

Known Populations in San Diego County

Five occurrences on Conserved Lands in MUs 8 (BLM, Margarita Peak, Rock Mountain Preserve, Santa Margarita River Park) and 9 (Cleveland National Forest).

List status

None [2].

Habitat affinities

Granitic outcrops and chaparral [1]. Elevation range is 150-800 meters.

Taxonomy and genetics

Ericaceae family [3]. Previously called A. peninsularis ssp. peninsularis or considered a hybrid of A. glandulosa and A. glauca. Possibly hybridization with A. glandulosa at the edge of the A. rainbowensis range.

Life history demography

Perennial evergreen shrub [2]. Burl-forming and vigorous at resprouting [3].

Seasonal phenology

Bloom period is December-March [2].

Pollination seed dispersal

Produces large amount of fruits and readily establishes seedlings on sites disturbed by bulldozers or wildfires [3].


Development and agricultural conversion [2].

Special considerations:

Flowers and fruits are often heavily infested with boring insects on the eastern edge of its range [3]. A. rainbowensis is the only Arctostaphylos species throughout most of its range.

Rainbow manzanita sources