Thursday, January 26, 2017

Arctostaphylos columbiana (Hairy manzanita) on the East Side of the Olympics

Various native plants get touted for gardens. The idea being saving water or providing habitat. One of my favorites is Arctostaphylos columbiana (hairy manzanita). However, it is not a plant that I see very often in my field ventures. On my last venture to the Olympic Peninsula I spotted one. 

The site was on the edge of a bedrock bald located on the east side of the Olympic Range. The bald is underlain by a very hard basalt unit within the Crescent Formation.

Besides the dryness provided by the bald this area gets very dry and warm in the summer. There is plenty of winter rain at this site so the area is typically heavily forested, but the long warm dry spell in the summer is such that the under story or edge of forest plants are drought tolerant.   

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