(Plant Identification for everyone)

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) aka Kinnikinnick

Bearberry grows low to the ground, and is generally under 1 foot tall. It has dark green, shiny, small, thick leaves.


It is circumpolar it can be found in northern latitudes all around the north pole.


In Marin County, Bearberry is only found on exposed ocean-facing slopes of Point Reyes. [California Distribution Map]














Green leaves all year long

White/pink flowers








Field ID Tips

  Blooms March June

  Grows low to the ground, generally under 1 foot tall.

  Woody stems grow along the ground, not up.

  Leaves dark green, shiny, small, thick and stiff.

  Underside of leaf is paler than the top.

  Berries small red to pink spheres.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi_Bearberry 4__JB

Red stems and flowers.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi_Bearberry 5__JB

Spherical berries with no hair.





Manzanitas of Marin


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi_Bearberry 7__JB-__JB

Leaves dark green, shiny, small and thick. The visible network of veins is distinctive.


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi_Bearberry 1__JB-__JB

Bearberry grows low to the ground (generally under 1 foot high). In Marin County, it is found only along coastal bluffs in Point Reyes.



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Last Updated10/19/2014 by BHS.


Note to botanists this page uses common vocabulary, sacrificing more precise scientific terms in the interest of general communication. We hope the loss of precision in wording is, to some extent, made up for by photographs showing key identification points.