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The Plant Guide

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Common bearberry, Kinnikinnick

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

ark-toe-STAF-il-ohs oo-vah-ER-see

This is a fine plant for cascading over the edge of a wall. It's a hardy, prostrate shrub with intricate branching that often forms mats up to 3 feet wide, by runners. Fragrant, white bell-shaped flowers tinged with pink are borne in May and followed later in the season by red berries. The common bearberry's stunning red stems are studded with small, glossy, evergreen leaves.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFound throughout North America from Labrador to Alaska, south to Virginia and California, it is called kinnikinnick by Native Americans.

CarePlants should be sheltered from wind and prefer soil that is poor and acidic, never wet.

PropagationRoot semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Remove and pot up rooted runners.

ProblemsCommon: Exobasidium bud and leaf galls. Susceptible to various fungal diseases on leaves, stems, and fruit.

  • Genus : Arctostaphylos
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Uses : Ground Covers
  • Flower Color : Pink, White
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring, Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Height : Under 6 inches
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