Gardening Questions And Answers
Extremely winter hardy, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) is a slow-growing, creeping, evergreen shrub with trailing red stems studded with small, leathery, glossy, obovate, dark green leaves, up to 1 in. long (2.5 cm). The foliage turns red or purplish in winter before becoming green again in spring.
Bearberry was first documented in The Physicians of Myddfai, a 13th-century Welsh herbal. It was also described by Clusius in 1601, and recommended for medicinal use in 1763 by Gerhard and others. Often called uva-ursi, from the Latin uva, “grape, berry of the vine”, ursi, “bear”, i.e. “bear’s grape”.
What is a Bearberry? Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a low-growing ground cover that usually tops out between 6 and 12 inches (15-31 cm.). The flexible stems sport teardrop-shaped, leathery leaves in dark green. You’ll find a small amount of white or pale pink waxy flowers between March and June.