Kinnikinnick is a ground trailing evergreen shrub with small, shiny, spoon shaped leaves, pinkish white flowers, and bright red berries. Kinnikinnik has traditionally been used as a tobacco like substance.
|Height and Spread
|Up to 20 cm
|Can spread several meters.
|Small urn shaped pinkish white flowers.
|Dark green and shiny above, paler below.
|After flowers, maturing in late summer and staying on the plant into winter.
|Light and Water
|Full sun or mostly sunny.
|Generally grows in dry areas.
|Most south interior indigenous groups have a long history of smoking Kinnikinnick. The leaves were also boiled to make a tea, while the berries were sometimes used in meats and in soups.
|As Kinnikinnick berries stay on the plant into winter, they provide an important food source for birds, bears, and other wildlife after other food sources have been exhausted.
|Kinnikinnick bushes are useful for landscaping, taking up a large ground area. Their shiny leaves, flowers, and bright red berries can be quite beautiful, particularly useful in drier areas.
|Because of Kinnikinnick’s ability to spread over a large area with a network of roots, it is useful in helping to control erosion and stabilize banks, both on wilderness hillsides as well as intentionally in landscaping and restoration work.
|Kinnikinnick is easily propagated through root cuttings.