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Southern Kinnikinnick Back to Plant Page
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

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About Southern Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a species of Arctostaphylos, one of several related species referred to as bearberry. Names for this species include kinnikinnick and pinemat manzanita. It is a small procumbent woody shrub 5-30 centimeter high. The leaves are evergreen, remaining green for 1-3 years before falling. The fruit is a red berry. It likes to spread and will root where stems touch the soil.

It can handle a wide variety of sun conditions, from full sun to part shade to full shade, and tolerates summer water up to 1x per month. Does best near the coast where temperatures are lower and less supplemental water would be needed. Inland it would like afternoon shade and more water. It is one of the most popular ground cover manzanitas, and there are several named cultivars including 'Emerald Carpet', 'Point Reyes' and 'Wood's Compact.'
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.5 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)



Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate


Flower Color
Purple, Pink, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky outcrops, slopes, sandy places primarily near the coast of central to northern California, as part of coastal strand, northern coastal scrub or chaparral.

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
7' - 12226'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 115.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 3.07"

Coldest Month ?
22.1° F - 50.3° F

Hottest Month ?
44.3° F - 76.2° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 24.06 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils but prefers sandy loam

Soil PH
4.0 - 7.0

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 4*, 5*, 6, 7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Wildlife Attracted
Insects and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Other fruit and seed eating birds are attracted to the fruits.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Prune as needed to contain spread

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Soak in concentrated H2SO4 for 3-6 hrs. then 2-4 mos. warm and 2-3 mos. cold stratification ( USDA Forest Service 1974 ); or 6 hrs. of concentrated acid and 2 mos. each of warm then cold stratification (McLean 1967) For the acid treatment, single nutlets and stone pieces (often without embryos) and entire stones should be treated separately, as they require different amounts of time in acid (Giersback 1937) For all species an alternate method is fire treatment in fall, this gives germination by spring. More easily propogated from tip cuttings in winter using bottom heat.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi f. coactilis

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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