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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

  • Common Name
  • CA Native
    California Native
  • Plant Type
    Ground Cover
  • Size
    6" - 12" x 10' - 12'
  • Flower Color
    Pinkish White
  • Bloom Time
    • Spring
  • Leaves
    Bright Green, Turns Reddish Bronze in Winter
  • Evergreen
  • Deer Resistant
    Rarely Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    • Bees
  • Growth Rate
  • Hardiness
  • Adverse Growth Factors
  • Special Features
    • Attractive Berries
    • Fall Color
    • Low Maintenance
  • Water Use
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    5.5-6.4 (acid)
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
    • Partial Shade
    • Shade
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Well Drained
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    The Bearberry is a California native that grows naturally in sandy or rocky soil. It forms low growing, dense, spreading mats that do well on hill sides and slopes. It has pale pinkish white flowers in the spring that turn into tiny red apple-shaped drupes in summer that can last into winter.

    Plant slightly above grade in well-drained slightly acidic soil. It does not like excessive heat so this plant will do best in coastal areas of Marin. Plant A. densiflora ' Emerald Carpet ' if in the hotter areas of Marin. It can be hard to establish. Plant in the fall so that winter rains keep soil moist for initial root growth and rooting of branches. Use mulch to keep soil moist.

    Bees and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar.

    Can develop foliar diseases (black spot) when stressed.

  • Master Gardener Comments
    N / A
  • Varietals

    A. uva-ursi 'Point Reyes' - more tolerant of heat and drought than other forms. Leaves are small & closely set.

    A. uva-ursi 'Massachusetts' - more disease reistant than uva- ursi. Flowers and fruits well.