Bearberry. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.

Figure 14.—Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Other Common Names

Uva-ursi, red bearberry, bear's-grape, bear's bilberry, bear's whortleberry, foxberry, upland cranberry, mountain cranberry, crowberry, mealberry, rockberry, mountain box, kinnikinnic, killikinnic, universe vine, brawling, burren myrtle, creashak, sagachomi, rapper dandies (fruit).

Habitat And Range

Bearberry, also commonly known in the trade as uva-ursi is a native of this country, growing in dry sandy or rocky soil from the middle Atlantic States north to Labrador and westward to California and Alaska.


The bearberry is a low, much-branched shrub trailing over the ground and having numerous leathery evergreen leaves about 1 inch in length. The waxy flowers, which appear in May, are few and are borne in short, drooping clusters at the ends of the branches. They are white with a pinkish tinge, 5-lobed, and somewhat bell-shaped in form. Smooth, red, globular fruits containing five nutlets follow the flowers.

Part Used

The leaves, collected in autumn.