When recently exploring the weekend farmgirl lake, I was thrilled to spy this manzanita shrub. I could identify it right away from its distinctive red bark.
My childhood memories of manzanita was nothing to do with finding it in its natural state. I think I learned to say manzanita as a toddler as it was a go-to branch for my Momma Aleene’s craft business. In our craft world, you would typically find it spray painted gold and glittered for holiday decorating.
Now, the weekend farmgirl in me is very curious about its natural uses. Wikipedia tells me that a tisane can be made from manzanita berries for poison oak rash and you can collect the berries, dry them and grind them up into a coarse meal. Fresh berries and branch tips can be soaked in water to make a cider. Native Americans used Manzanita leaves as toothbrushes.
In researching further, I was very surprised to learn that manzanita is also known as uva ursi and was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years. I’ll need to research more to find out if this particular variety of manzanita is indeed uva ursi!
Can’t wait to research more about this beautiful shrub!