Bearberry

photo by J Brew CC BY-SA

Kinnikinnick, Pinemat Manzanita

Bearberry is a low-lying shrub with long branches carpeting the ground. It has small (⅓-⅔ in long), leathery evergreen leaves and grows well in dry forests and exposed sandy areas with lots of sun in Canada, the northern United States, and the Rocky Mountains.

Drooping clusters of small, pinkish-white, urn-shaped flowers appear in May-June and are followed by bright red berries (less than ½ in in diameter) that remain on the branch year-round.

Bearberry is related to Manzanita trees and shrubs such as Arbutus.

Did you know? The berries provide food for bears and birds. Indigenous peoples in North America used to dry and smoke the leaves.

See Also: Wild Strawberry, Blackberry, Chokecherry, Elderberry, Highbush Cranberry, Huckleberry, Oregon Grape, Saskatoon Berry, Silver Buffaloberry, Snowberry, Thimbleberry