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ARCTOSTAPHYLOS uva-ursi 'Massachusetts'

Image of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts'

Russell Stafford

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ARCTOSTAPHYLOS uva-ursi 'Massachusetts'

Plant Common Name

Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, Massachusetts Bearberry

General Description

Drought tolerant and adaptable, bearberry, or kinnikinnick, is a spreading, mat-forming evergreen shrub typically grown as a groundcover. This super tough, plant is so cold tolerant that it naturally extends up into the farthest reaches of Alaska and northern Canada across into northern Eurasia. It has small, leathery, glossy leaves year-round and produces sweet clusters of pearly white to pale pink flowers in summer followed by bright red berries in late summer to fall. Its flowers attract bees, its fruits are eaten by birds and in the winter bearberry foliage turns a beautiful russet bronze-red. The cultivar ‘Massachusetts’ is notable for its particularly small, dense leaves, prostrate habit and resistance to fungal leaf spot.

Bearberry naturally occurs in arctic tundra, open fields, lakeshores and ocean sides as well as open woodlands. It grows best in acidic soil with perfect drainage and full to partial sun. Plant it as a low-shrub or groundcover in foundation plantings, rock gardens or mixed borders.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm

  • Width

    2'-15' / 0.6m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    North America, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, Western United States, Northwestern United States, Alaska, Canada, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Bronze, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edging, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No