Bearberry is a small evergreen shrub often used as a groundcover. It is an excellent choice to provide winter interest with the tiny leaves that turn bronze in the fall, and the small red berries that last until 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".
Use bearberry on hillsides or over rocky ground that needs coverage. It’s ideal for use as ground cover underneath shrubs or around trees. Plant it along a rock wall and it will cascade down over the edge, softening the look of your landscape perimeter. If you live near the ocean, bearberry is salt-resistant, so use it as a seaside ground cover.
In fact, pruning barberry plants may be the most work performed with this shrub. If you are keeping your barberry shrubs as a hedge, it is necessary to prune a couple of times a year. Pruning barberry plants increase shrub health and vigor. Prune for shape during the winter or fall after the plant has fruited.
Noteworthy Characteristics. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, known by a large number of common names including common bearberry and kinninnick, is an extremely winter hardy, creeping, slow-growing, prostrate, woody evergreen shrub that typically grows to 6-12” tall but spreads over time by flexible branching (roots at the nodes) to 3-6’ wide or more.This is a circumpolar ground-hugger which is ...
The low growing shrub Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is often used as a native groundcover on dry, sandy and rocky soils, in full sun to light shade. Grows naturally on sandy beaches and dry, open woodlands in sandy soil. The plants spread gradually by surface rhizomes to form a mat. Requires an acid soil with a pH between 4.0 and 6.0.
Japanese barberry shrubs often reach a height of six feet at maturity, with a similar spread, although there are more compact cultivars, such as 'Nana' and 'Compactum.' The bush bears green leaves, as well as yellow flowers that bloom in mid-spring.
The Barberry is a hardy garden shrub. Barberry is also known as berberis or Pepperidge bush. Barberries are well known for their thorny, wiry branches. Nature Hills markets the deciduous barberry shrub. Barberry was introduced to the United States in the 1800’s as an ornamental and it still is a popular landscape plant.
Bearberry: Bearberry, (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), flowering prostrate evergreen shrubs of the heath family (Ericaceae), occurring widely throughout the northern reaches of Europe, Asia, and North America in rocky and sandy woods and in open areas. It has woody stems that are often 1.5–1.8 metres (5–6 feet)
Bearberry comes from its genus Arctostaphylos, from the Greek word for bear – Arktos and staphylos – a bunch of grapes, which its berries resemble. The species name of uva-ursi is apparently from the Latin uva (grape) and ursus (bear). Bearberries look like lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), but they are not related.