Waterproofing: Does What it Says

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Waterproofing: Does What it Says Empty Waterproofing: Does What it Says

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 05:54

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi -


Author(L.)Spreng.Botanical references11, 17, 200
SynonymsArbutus uva-ursi - L.

Uva-ursi uva-ursi - (L.)Britt.

Known Hazardswarning signThis plant is best not used by pregnant women since it can reduce the supply of blood to the foetus[172].
RangeBritain. Northern N. America. N. Europe. N. Asia.
open woods, often on gravelly or sandy soils[212]. It is also found on
sand dunes along the coast[212] and is also found on limestone in the
European Alps.
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics

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An evergreen Shrub growing to 0.1m by 1m at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year,
in flower from April to July, and the seeds ripen from July to
September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female
organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist soil.


Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[3, 7, 8, 62, 161, 257]. Insipid, dry and
mealy[4, 101, 183], it becomes sweeter when cooked[212]. Added to stews
etc, it is a good source of carbohydrates[101]. The fruit can also be
used to make a cooling drink or used for preserves etc[161, 183]. It
can be dried and stored for later use[257]. The fruit is about 6mm in
A tea is made from the dried leaves[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic; Astringent; Birthing aid; Diuretic; Hypnotic; Kidney; Lithontripic; Poultice; Skin; Tonic; Women's complaints.

Bearberry was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes
to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in
conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, it is one of the
best natural urinary antiseptics[254]. The leaves contain hydroquinones
and are strongly antibacterial, especially against certain organisms
associated with urinary infections[238]. The plant should be used with
caution, however, because hydroquinones are also toxic[222].
The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, lithontripic, hypnotic
and tonic[7, 9, 21, 102, 165, 172, 192]. The dried leaves are used in
the treatment of a variety of complaints[4]. These leaves should be
harvested in early autumn, only green leaves being selected, and then
dried in gentle heat[4]. A tea made from the dried leaves is much used
for kidney and bladder complaints and inflammations of the urinary
tract such as acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, but it should
be used with caution and preferably only under the supervision of a
qualified practitioner[4, 21, 46, 172, 222, 254]. The tea is more
effective if the urine is alkaline, thus it is best used in combination
with a vegetable-based diet[254]. Externally, a poultice of the infused
leaves with oil has been used as a salve to treat rashes, skin sores
etc, and as a wash for a baby's head[257]. An infusion of the leaves
has been used as an eyewash, a mouthwash for cankers and sore gums and
as a poultice for back pains, rheumatism, burns etc[257].
The dried leaves have been used for smoking as an alternative to
tobacco[238]. One report says that it is unclear whether this was for
medicinal purposes or for the intoxicated state it could produce[192],
whilst another says that the leaves were smoked to treat headaches and
also as a narcotic[257].
The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or
patients with kidney disease[238]. Another report says that some native
North American Indian tribes used an infusion of the stems, combined
with blueberry stems (Vaccinium spp) to prevent miscarriage without
causing harm to the baby, and to speed a woman's recovery after the

Other Uses

Beads; Dye; Ground cover; Pioneer; Soil stabilization; Tannin; Waterproofing.

A yellowish-brown dye is obtained from the leaves[57, 101], it does not
require a mordant[168].
A grey-brown dye is obtained from the fruit[257].
The dried fruits are used in rattles and as beads on necklaces etc[99,
The leaves are a good source of tannin[46, 61, 212].
The mashed berries can be rubbed on the insides of coiled cedar root
baskets in order to waterproof them[257].
A good ground-cover for steep sandy banks in a sunny position[188, 200]
or in light shade[197]. A carpeting plant, growing fairly fast and
carpeting as it spreads[208]. It is valuable for checking soil erosion
on watersheds[212]. This is also a pioneer plant in the wild, often
being the first plant to colonize burnt-over areas, especially on poor

Cultivation details

Requires a deep moist well-drained light or medium lime-free loam in
sun or semi-shade[3, 11, 200]. One report says that this species
succeeds in alkaline soils[182] (a rather surprising comment
considering the general needs of the genus - it is more likely that the
plant can grow on limestone so long as the soil remains acid[K]).Shade
tolerant[31] but plants produce less fruit when they are grown in the
shade[200]. Prefers a cool damp position.
A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its medicinal
uses[1]. There are a number of named varieties developed for their
ornamental interest[200]. The form 'Massachusetts' is an especially
prostrate, free-flowering and free-fruiting form[183]. 'Anchor Bay',
'Point Reyes' and 'Vulcan's Peak' have all been mentioned as good
groundcover forms[200].
This is one of the first plants to colonize bare and rocky ground and
burnt over areas[155]. It is often an indicator of poor soils in the
Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their final
positions as soon as possible[11, 134].
Hybridizes with other members of this genus, especially A. columbiana.


Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak dried
seed in boiling water for 10 - 20 seconds or burn some straw on top of
them and then stratify at 2 - 5°c for 2 months[11, 200]. The seed
usually germinates in 2 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. When large enough to
handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on
in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant
out in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of side shoots of the current season's growth, 5 - 8cm with a
heel, August to December in a frame. The cuttings are very slow and can
take a year to root[1, 78].
Division in early spring. Take care because the plant resents root
disturbance. Pot the divisions up and keep them in a lightly shaded
position in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing away
Layering of long branches in early spring[200, 238].


'Anchor Bay'
A good groundcover form[200].
This plant is an especially prostrate, free-flowering and free-fruiting form[183].
'Point Reyes'
A good groundcover form[200].
'Vulcan's Peak'
A good groundcover form[200]

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