Description from Flora of China
Arctous alpinus (Linnaeus) Niedenzu var. ruber Rehder & E. H. Wilson in Sargent, Pl. Wilson 1: 556. 1913; Arctostaphylos rubra (Rehder & E. H. Wilson) Fernald.
Shrubs dwarf, 3–15(–20) cm tall. Twigs terete, glabrous. Leaf blade pale abaxially, dark green adaxially, obovate or oblanceolate, 2–4 (including petiole) × 1–1.4 cm, papery, glabrous, veins impressed adaxially, base attenuate-cuneate, decurrent into winged petiole, margin crenate, sparsely ciliate along petiole, apex obtuse-acute. Racemes 2–5-flowered; scales broadly ovate, 5–7 mm, margin densely ciliate. Pedicel ca. 6 mm. Calyx lobes ovate, ca. 1 mm. Corolla white to cream, 3–4 mm; lobes spreading, ovate or orbicular. Stamens 1.5–2 mm; filaments puberulous. Drupe brick-red or scarlet, globose, 6–10 mm in diam. Fl. Jun, fr. Aug–Sep. 2n = 26.
Among mosses and rocks on mountain summits, streamsides, localities rich in calcareous deposits; 2900–3300(–4000) m. Gansu, Jilin, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, N Sichuan [Japan, Korea; NW North America (Alaska)].