Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, Manzanita
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arctostaphylos (ark-toh-STAF-ih-los) (Info)
Species: uva-ursi (OO-va UR-see) (Info)

Synonym:Arctostaphylos officinalis

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kbjanet2003 On Dec 13, 2012, kbjanet2003 from mid-Michigan, MI wrote:

I love this plant. It grows wild in northern Michigan in very dry, sandy soil along with wintergreen and so many other wildflowers. Sometimes you see it near beaches and sandy riverbanks.
My only problem in my urban yard in southern Michigan is rabbits. Though I see many guides referring to this plant as rabbitproof or rabbit resistant, I think not! With lots and lots of rabbits uncontrolled in an urban setting I am at my whit's end to keep them away. They love this one as much as they love my curled parsley. It seems likely rabbits would not choose this plant first in a wild setting due to its tough-looking, rubbery nature. Perhaps in the wild there is a greater array of delectable native plant material to choose from so rabbits naturally pass it by. However in my urban setting bearberry is like clover to a rabbit. Wish me luck. It's pretty ridiculous having a two-foot chicken wire fence covering a 2" high plant, but it's what I must do.

Positive Erutuon On Apr 12, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I bought a tiny bearberry plant at the Friends School Plant Sale and planted it in a fairly sunny spot, with rocks around it to protect it from squirrels. It's survived despite having tips bitten off, so I'm satisfied. Hopefully it will form a large glossy-green clump over time.

Neutral grrrlgeek On Feb 16, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Native to northern and western US and all of Canada. Endangered in some states.

Positive Grasmussen On Oct 24, 2006, Grasmussen from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Kinnikinnick, grows on sandy or rocky, well-drained sites, in both woodlands and open areas. It is found circumpolar as far north as the Arctic coast. The long, flexible, rooting, branches have a brownish bark. Kinnikinnick has potential as a decorative shrub, for retaining walls, in northern areas. Planted along the top of a retaining wall, the evergreen foliage with red berries, would make the wall appear part the natural environment.

Positive nevrest On Oct 6, 2004, nevrest from Broadview, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Thrives here in southeastern Saskatchewan Zone 3.
Nice groundcover on steep embankments. Does not seem to mind clay or poor soil. Bright red berries attract some birds in the early winter.

Negative Kelli On Oct 5, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

We couldn't keep ours alive. Not suited to hot summer climates, I don't think.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Estes Park, Colorado
Parker, Colorado
Greene, Maine
Halifax, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Beaver Island, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Saint Helen, Michigan
Piedmont, Missouri
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Oceanside, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Eugene, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Leesburg, Virginia
Danville, Washington
Sequim, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Valley, Washington

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