Manzanita bushes are native to California. We have several different types on our property in Anchor Bay. This big specimen is peeling, something manzanitas do every year.
Once the manzanita has done shedding its outer bark, smooth and silky bark remains. It's almost impossible not to run your fingers along a red branch once the peeling is done. When the bark peels, it's difficult for insects and other organisms to stay attached to the bush. So it is partly a defensive mechanism.
Manzanita bushes, with their beautiful branches, add beauty to the Mendonoma Coast.