Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a species of shrubs, and 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 cm high. The leaves are evergreen, remaining green for 1–3 years before falling. The fruit is a red berry.
The leaves are shiny, small, and feel thick and stiff. They are alternately arranged on the stems. Undersides of leaves are lighter green than on the tops. New stems can be red if the plant is in full sun, but are green in shadier areas. Older growth stems are brown. In spring, they have white or pink flowers. They are a common plant on Jack pine sites.
The distribution is circumpolar, widespread in the north through out the world, confined to high altitudes further south. In Europe, from Iceland and North Cape, Norway south to southern Spain (Sierra Nevada), central Italy (Apennines) and northern Greece (Pindus mountains); in Asia from arctic Siberia south to Turkey, the Caucasus and the Himalayas; in North America from arctic Alaska, Canada and Greenland south to California, north coast, central High Sierra Nevada (above Convict Lake, Mono County, California), Central Coast, California, San Francisco Bay Area, to New Mexico in the Rocky Mountains; and the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast United States. In some areas the plant is endangered or has been extirpated from its native range. In other areas it is abundant.