• berries are dry/mealy, clustered 3-10
  • berries contain white pulp, 4 yellow nutlets
  • leaves are spatsula-shaped
  • creeping shrub is about half a foot high
WARNING: The berries may cause nausea, constipation, and, eventually, liver problems. They should not be eaten by children or women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
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Look-alikes in British Columbia

The similar-looking bearberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri) is a dense, creeping shrub that produces inedible berries. It differs in that it grows over a foot tall and the berries occur along the trailing stems rather than at the branch tips. The less common red bearberry (Arctostaphylos rubra) and alpine bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpina)produce edible red and reddish black berries, respectively. They both differ in that the leaves are thinner and turn red in the fall.

See also lingonberry and hairy manzanita.

Related topics: Edible Mushrooms of BC - Edible Plants of BC
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