The bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a common shrub that is distributed throughout the boreal region of the Northern Hemisphere. The fruits of this species provide important food for bear and other animals. In the Southwest U.S. the madrone (Arbutus spp.) is a common small tree, with reddish peeling bark. Relatives of madrone also grow in the Mediterranean Region. The fruits of Arbutoideae may appear to be the same as the berries found in Vaccinium spp. (blueberries), but Arbutoid fruits are anatomically much different from the fruits of blueberries. Both madrone and bearberry are also used as garden plants.
Distribution Map of Arbutoideae throughout the World
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