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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Westfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 9, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It makes a beautiful groundcover in a landscape or is wonderful as a wild plant in the North or Mountains or along a beach. I am growing the 'Massachusetts' cultivar here in southeast PA that does well in the right place in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest and some other areas of the USA. This species has such a large native range over North America that one should buy it from some local source or similar climate location. Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois collected some specimens for their collections from Indiana Dunes State Park and Illinois State Beach Park. The huge Midwest Groundcovers nursery in St Charles, IL, sells some in pots This plant grows the most in acid, infertile, sandy soils. It does not like rich, alkaline silty-clay or clay soils and is not used a lot in m... read more


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 be... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.