General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7a
Plant Height: 6-12 inches
Plant Spread: slow grower to 8 feet; 2 foot spacing is generally recommended to establish.
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Xeriscapic
Terrariums
Alpine Gardening
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Groundcover
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Suitable for miniature gardens
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Fire Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Tolerates foot traffic
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: Seed has a double-dormancy that requires breaking.
Other info: Seed has a long shelf-life due to hard seed coat and dormant embryo.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Layering
Stolons and runners
Other: Use cuttings of current year’s growth; propagules collected mid-Sept to mid-Oct have greatest rooting potential; apply rooting hormone and mycorrhizal inoculum for longer roots and greater root biomass.
Pollinators: Self
Bees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Image
Common names
  • Kinnikinnick
  • Bearberry
  • Manzanita
  • Red Bearberry
  • Pinemat Manzanita
  • Kinnikinnik

Photo Gallery
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2010-03-22

Date: 2022-08-09
Location: Faraway Rock, Lakes Trail, Mount Rainier National Park
Photo courtesy of: J.Brew
Location: Michigan
Date: 2013-12-16
Bearberry thrives in sandy soils. Shown growing here on the Lake
Location: Pebble Island, Falkland Islands
Date: 2019-12-14
Location: Pebble Island, Falkland Islands
Date: 2019-12-14
Location: Banff, Canada | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-02

photo by Walter Siegmund

photo by Walter Siegmund
Location: Grandview Heights Land - Castlegar, B.C. 
Date: 2006-08-05
Wild Bearberry on our land before the Bulldozers came.
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2009-10-18
Location: Zaborski Landscape Park
credit: Przykuta
Location: Fairfax, VA | August, 2022
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Bordine's Greenhouse, Brighton, MI
Date: 4-2009
Location: Bordine's Greenhouse, Brighton, MI
Date: 2009-04-11
Location: Bordine's Greenhouse, Brighton, MI
Date: 2009-04-11
Location: Banff, Canada | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-04-06
urn-shaped waxy white flowers and spring foliage
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-07-27
a few red berries
Location: Pacific Northwest, zone 8
Date: Apr 30, 2012
Location: Banff, Canada | August, 2022
Date: 2022-08-01
Location: North Cascades National Park
photo credit: Walter Siegmund
Location: Fairfax, VA | June, 2022
Location: Banff, Canada | August 2022
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-06-08
the patch of groundcover

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Pacific Northwest, zone 8
Date: Apr 30, 2012 
Young plant
Location: Michigan
Date: 2013-12-16
Bearberry, growing intermingled with a creeping juniper along the
Location: Mrs Walsh's Garden  Estes Park, Colorado
Date: 2010-06-30
Location: National Botanical Garden, DC, Virginia :) | May, 2022
Date: 2022-05-28
Location: Okanogan County
Out in the woods by Crawfish Lake

Photo courtesy of Singing Tree Gardens Nursery
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Fairfax, VA | August, 2022
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Bordine's Greenhouse, Brighton, MI
Date: 2009-04-11
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-04-06
planted patch of Bearberry
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-07-27
the patch of groundcover
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
a planted patch
Location: Johnston Canyon, Banff, Canada | August, 2022
Date: 2022-08-02
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2019-11-24
patch with reddish tinge during cold season
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2019-11-24
foliage with reddish tinge during cold season
This plant is tagged in:
Image Image

Comments:
  • Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Nov 15, 2013 10:27 AM concerning plant:
    Native in the Pacific Northwest. A bit difficult to settle in from nursery starts, but once established it does well. The dried leaves will produce a violet-gray (mordant alum) or charcoal black (mordant iron) dye. Very delicate clusters of pinkish-white bell flowers. The common name is a palindrome - spelled the same forward and back.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 20, 2017 4:28 PM concerning plant:
    Bearberry makes a lovely groundcover. It has a large native range over most of Canada, into Alaska, the Pacific Northwest down to coastal central California, the Rocky Mountains, New England, New Jersey, areas of New York, northwest Pennsylvania, almost all of Michigan & Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northern Minnesota. growing in beaches, dunes, and in acid, rocky and/or sandy barrens in sunny places. It is sold a little bit at some big, diverse nurseries, native plant nurseries, and specialty nurseries in pots. This plant demands an acid, sandy or sandy loam soil to really do well, so it is not used in most gardens or landscapes, which usually have silt-clay loam soils that are just barely acid or slightly alkaline. It is not tough to compete with many other plants. I bought two small pots of Bearberry from a conventional garden center where I worked and planted them where I had already created a low berm in which I amended the soil with lots of sand, some peatmoss, and some sulfur & iron sulfate acid materials. In several years it made a nice groundcover. Now that some nearby small trees are providing some shade around, it is not as thick growing as formerly. (I put three more photos of my Bearberry patch in Downingtown, PA, on the page for Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts' because that is what it is.)
  • Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Aug 12, 2020 3:02 PM concerning plant:
    Kinnikinnick, an Indian word for many tobacco substitutes, is most frequently applied to this species, which also had many medicinal uses. In Greek, arctos means "bear", and staphyle "bunch of grapes", whereas in Latin uva is "grape" or "grapes", and ursus is "bear". The berries are indeed eaten by bears, as the name redundantly indicates.

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