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Bearberry or Kinnikinick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

This hardy native New England plant makes a fine evergreen ground cover. Its growth rate is slow, but well worth the wait, for the Bearberry's glossy green leaves and interesting flowers and fruit make for an outstanding ground cover.

These plants should not be fertilized. They prefer an acid soil and will tolerate beach salt spray. In fact, this plant thrives on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod.

At Tower Hill Botanic Garden, we have planted Bearberry in our Entry Garden right next to the parking lot, where it appears to be happily establishing itself.

Several cultivars are available, including one called 'Massachusetts' which is reported to have good resistance to diseases such as leaf spot and leaf gall.

Arctostaphylosis hardy to Zone 2.

The leaves turn reddish bronze in winter. Bearberry will not tolerate wetness, and must have a sandy, infertile, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.