Habit: slow growing, prostrate evergreen shrub that forms a thick vegetative mat. The dark green leaves, spoon shaped and thick with margins rolling under, contrast against the purplish red woody stems. The nodding urn shaped whitish pink flowers are small and appear in clusters at the end of branches. The fruit is a spherical bright red drupe with glossy skin, which persist on the plant into early winter. Kinnikinnick blooms between April and May. In fall, the leaves change from their dark green to a reddish-green to purple.
Ecology: found across much of North America on sand dunes, barren areas, coarse rocky slopes, and under partial shade of forest canopies, up to 8000 ft (2500m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade in moist to rather dry soil that is coarse and well drained. It does not tolerate moist sites. It is very tolerant of cold and coastal conditions.
Good for erosion control on slopes. Arctostaphylos uva ursi is a beautiful ground cover requiring very little maintenance once established.