Plant Encyclopedia

Panchito/Chieftain Manzanita

Chieftain manzanita

Learn more

The Landscaper's 

AVN succeeds by helping you & your business succeed.

  • 6 Locations

  • Plant Experts

  • +100 years in the industry

  • +2000 Plants

Panchito/Chieftain Manzanita. Short shrub with green leaves.

Discover More Information On Panchito/Chieftain Manzanita

The Panchito/Chieftain manzanita is the perfect plant for dry climates. This evergreen is a low-growing shrub that thrives in the hot and dry areas of the United States. The manzanita is a cultivar of small evergreen shrubs native to the western part of the country. Their thick, smooth-edged leaves will persist throughout the winter as they provide beautiful green foliage to the landscape. These plants are also a favorite habitat for wildlife as they provide shelter and food. During the late winter and early spring, the manzanita features small clusters of urn-shaped pink and white flowers. The flowers will remain on the branches for six weeks until the temperatures start to rise. Mature manzanita plants will produce tiny red berry clusters in the summertime. If you want an evergreen shrub that requires little maintenance, you should choose the Panchito/Chieftain manzanita for your outdoor landscape.

Plant Attributes

The Panchito is a variety of manzanita that comes from the region of the Uncompahgre Plateau near Grand Junction, Colorado. The shrub was first introduced in 2005. It features a broadleaf evergreen with a cinnamon-red to purple bark. The leaves will remain dark green throughout the season, and it will turn a purple or deep red color in the autumn. These manzanitas are versatile shrubs that can be used as a single specimen or planted for groundcover in a group. The Panchito manzanita will grow best in well-draining soils, and it only requires moderate watering for the first two years in your landscape. Once it is established, this manzanita will become fully drought-tolerant.

The Chieftain manzanita is another type of shrub that is unique to the Uncompahgre Plateau. This variety grows taller and more quickly than other varieties of manzanitas. The Chieftain was first introduced in 2013, and it remains a favorite of many landscapers. With its cinnamon-red to purple bark and oval-shaped evergreen leaves, it stands out in your garden. These leaves will also darken to a deep green color that will last throughout the winter. In the spring, you can enjoy white flowers with a hint of pink. Red berries follow these flowers in the autumn season. This variety of manzanitas will thrive in areas with well-draining soils.

These two varieties will look great in a container garden or add them for a more natural landscape in your desert garden. Since the Panchito/Chieftain varieties are more textured plants, they will look great on their own or in a group of plants with delicate leaves.

Landscape Use

Planting & Care

At one time, these manzanitas were extremely difficult to propagate, and they could only be found in the wild Colorado landscape. However, over the past few years, these plants are one of the most popular shrubs for dry climates. You can enjoy these varieties in your outdoor landscape. The Panchito/Chieftain manzanita will take about three to seven years to mature. Once they have established, the shrubs will grow to a full height of 12 to 24 inches and have a width of 18 to 48 inches.

While the manzanitas are hardy, they are susceptible to root rot. You want to avoid overwatering the shrub to prevent this condition from occurring in your plant. However, when the plant is young, it will require more water than usual. After the bush is established, it needs only minimal watering from you. The Panchito/Chieftain manzanita will thrive in the environment if you live in a region with granite-based soil. However, those with natural clay will need to add soil amendments to improve growing conditions. This manzanita loves to spend time in full sunshine, but it can also thrive in partial shade.

The Panchito/Chieftain manzanita does not require pruning, but you can clip branches to redirect growth. The low groundcover of this shrub will produce round and bright green leaves. You can enjoy the white flowers that appear in the mid-spring. The stems add a touch of bold color with their reddish-purple tones. For those who want a drought-tolerant shrub for their outdoor landscapes, you cannot go wrong by adding the Panchito/Chieftain manzanita to your space.

Additional Information

Interested in

Panchito/Chieftain Manzanita


The Panchito/Chieftain manzanitas are drought-tolerant plants that will thrive in more desert-like conditions. These varieties will make a great addition to your customers’ landscape. At Arbor Valley Nursery, we have a wide selection of plants and shrubs, including the Panchito/Chieftain manzanitas. If you would like to learn more about our inventory, please fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Height: 1-2 feet
  • Width: 5-6 feet
  • Flowering Season: Early spring
  • Flower Color: Pink
  • Sun: Sun, Partial Sun
  • Water Needs: Moderate to xeric
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: Zones 5-8
  • Soil Type: Loam, sandy
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Good for Pollination: Yes
  • Winter Interest: Yes
  • North American Native: Yes
  • Year Introduced: 2013
  • Annual Commercial Maintenance: Never touch unless there is damage to branches and only prune those branches out in spring.
  • 5-10 Year Commercial Maintenance: Follow annual maintenance. This can be a long-lived woody shrub if growing conditions are correct.
  • Elevation Guide: Up to 8125 ft

Interested in a particular plant or have questions?
Please don't hesitate to contact us via this form or email, and we will reply as soon as possible.

Message sent! Thank you.

An error has occurred somewhere and it is not possible to submit the form. Please try again later or contact us via email.