A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA,  6/2013.

Silver Star Mountain, Columbia Gorge, WA, 6/2013.

The name is a Native American word meaning “something to smoke,”  referring to their use of the dried  leaves of this plant, sometimes mixed with tobacco.  While edible, the berries are said to be mealy and dry, although they are eaten by wildlife.  The urn-shaped flowers are characteristic of the heath family whose members include manzanita, salal, huckleberry and madrona.  Like some of these, this evergreen shrub features attractive, shiny, leathery leaves and brownish-red , flaky bark.  Also known as “Bearberry.”

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