Leaves: alternate, obovate, obtuse and glandnlar-mucronate at the apex, pale glaucous and glabrous beneath, sparingly pubescent above, the margins entire, crenulate, ciliolate. Flowers: one to five in umbels, cream and pink, spreading, becoming erect; calyx five-lobed; corolla urn-shaped, four toothed; stamens eight, included. Fruit: seeds long-appendaged at each end.
If you wish to be quite certain that the shrub before you is really Menziesia glabella, just break off a branch and smell it, and you will at once perceive the peculiar pungent odour of the skunk emanating from its stems and foliage. The bush grows erect to the height of six feet and bears abundant foliage. The leaves are small, oval, and pale green, and have even wavy hairy margins. The flowers are little roundish pink and creamy urn-shaped bells, which terminate the long slender stalks, and are four-lobed, having eight stamens within their cups. They grow in umbels at the ends of the twigs, and also encircle the stems just below the topmost clusters of leaves. When in fruit the seeds are characterized by long appendages at each end.
Menziesia ferruginea, or Scaly Menziesia, differs from the preceding species in having strigose chaffy ferruginous scales on the young parts of the straggling branches, while the somewhat egg-shaped leaves are thickly covered with rusty appressed straight stiff hairs above, and are pale green and smooth beneath. The flowers are very like those of the Smooth Menziesia. Archibald Menzies, after whom the plants are named, brought the original species from the North West Pacific Coast when he sailed there with Captain Vancouver on his famous voyage of discovery in 1790.