Arctostaphylos canescens ssp. canescens
by Doreen Smith
One of the most lovely of our local mazanitas is the pink-flowered, hoary manzanita, Arctostaphylos canescens ssp. canescens. This shrub is one of the earliest to bloom in Marin. It grows here in sandstone chaparral only on the upper South-facing slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, including the Verna Dunshee trail around East Peak.
Though the Jepson Manual #2 indicates Marin also has A. canescens ssp. sonomensis I have never seen any here, nor are are there any Marin Co. vouchers listed online on the Consortium of California Herbaria County-level Distribution website. The difference between the two subspecies consists of whether or not there are glandular hairs on the inflorescence and fruit. Individuals of the glandular ssp. sonomensis that I have seen all had white flowers.