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ARCTOSTAPHYLOS 'Emerald Carpet'

Image of Arctostaphylos 'Emerald Carpet'

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ARCTOSTAPHYLOS 'Emerald Carpet'

Plant Common Name

Bearberry, Emerald Carpet Bearberry, Kinnikinnick

General Description

Many lawns in the American West were abandoned and replanted with this creeping, evergreen shrub to conserve water, and it has proven itself over the long term. It is a hybrid selection of Arctostaphylos uva ursi, which is native to a large range in Eurasia. The small, round green leaves of ‘Emerald Carpet’ are bone densely on twigs with characteristic sepia-colored, smooth bark that peels periodically as the plant ages. Growth is low and spreading, and becomes quite dense and uniform with time. Clusters of small white-tinged, pink, urn-shaped flowers bloom from late winter into spring, then give way to red pea-sized fruits which ripen over summer. They are a popular forage for wildlife.

The key to success with this plant is very good drainage. It does best in light, sandy loam or on hillsides with express runoff where it can help control erosion. Beware of over watering in the summer when ‘Emeral Carpet,’ like other bearberries, prefers drier conditions. It does not tolerate rainy, humid climates. This is a valuable cultivar for coverage among pines and oak trees where soils can be too acidic for other species. Use it to create green fields amidst more blue-gray colored dry land plants.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-0' / 0.3m - 0.0m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Groundcover

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No