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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Massachusetts'

Common Bearberry /

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Common Bearberry is an evergreen groundcover that is suited to sandy or other well-drained soils with an acidic pH. It can be a marvelous solution for a difficult site since it grows where few other plants are happy. Artostaphyllos is lovely draped over the edge of a wall or large rock. Its small green leaves have silver grey backs and often appear to be edged in silver. 'Massachusetts' flowers and fruits abundantly and is a disease-resistant selection with smaller leaves than the species. Introduced by West Coast Growers, seed for this selection originated in Massachusetts.


  • Beautiful groundcover for difficult site
  • Berries for birds and other wildlife
  • Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Host plant for a variety of butterflies
  • An evergreen with three-season interest
  • Salt and Wind Tolerant

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Arctostaphyllos uva ursi grows best in sandy or other well-drained soils that are acidic. Full sun or very slight shade is the best exposure. Bearberry prefers low fertility, so do not fertilize. Choose your site well because it does not like to be transplanted.

6-10 Inches


3-6 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-6

Native Range

Native to Europe, Asia and North America, in the US it is found in rocky or sandy soils in Northern and Western states.

Distribution Maps by State and County

Native Trivia

The specific epithet of uva-ursi means bear's grape in reference to the fact that bears like to eat the fruits of this species.

"Bears aren't the only ones who enjoy these berries!"

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Small Shrubs
  • Filtered Shade
  • Sun
  • Acidic
  • Well-drained
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Average
  • Dry
  • Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
  • Beneficial insects
  • Butterflies
  • Hummingbirds
  • Mammals
  • Songbirds
Bloom Time
  • Late Spring / Early Summer
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
  • Songbird
Native Habitat
  • Coastal
  • Forest
Foliage Color
  • Dark Green
  • Green
  • Border
  • Climbing, trailing
  • Edging
  • Erosion control
  • Evergreen
  • Ground cover
  • Mass plant
  • Naturalizes
  • Ornamental fruit
  • Rock garden
  • Salt tolerant
  • Wind tolerant
Native to
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming