High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

shrub

Massachusetts Bearberry

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts'

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Massachusetts Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts') at Moana Nursery

Massachusetts Bearberry flowers

Massachusetts Bearberry flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2

Other Names:  Kinnikinik

Description:

An extremely hardy and tough groundcover requiring acidic sandy soil; low growing; whitish-pink flowers in spring, red fruit.

Ornamental Features

Massachusetts Bearberry features dainty nodding shell pink bell-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from late summer to late fall. It has forest green foliage. The tiny glossy round leaves turn burgundy in fall.

Landscape Attributes

Massachusetts Bearberry is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Massachusetts Bearberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Massachusetts Bearberry will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have sandy, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Groundcover 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.