The Q&A Archives: what is the name of:

Question: a very dark and shiny ground cover that grows all year or at least doesn't die in winter? it is a thick cover less than 6 inches high. i don't believe it ever has flowers. i have seen it peeking through the snow at the mayo clinic, in rochester.

Answer: Without seeing the plant, I can only offer an educated guess. In your gardening region, I think you're talking about Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) which is a member of the Heath family and is quite adaptable to all kinds of growing conditions.

The Bearberry plant has a stem that rises two to eight inches off the ground. It is commonly found in dry and low nutrient soils, for example soils that are shallow or sand. The plant also tolerates acidic, neutral and alkaline soils; but in all these conditions, its one requirement is that the soil is moist. This trait means that bearberry can grow nearly everywhere. White, waxy-like flower clusters bloom in May or June followed by growth of persistent, bright red, smooth berries for the remainder of the growing season.

Hope this is the plant in question!

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