I was about to start a thread for Arctous (Arctostaphylos) rubra, but I see we don't have an Ericaceae section yet.. perhaps someone can rectify that? ;) [Your wish is my command, Cohan! :) - Moderator]
meantime a few pics- I will eventually show the plants in several seasons- all equally charming...
Here it is on June 26, 2010. this is the same site near the Athabasca Glacier (Columbia Icefields site on the Icefields Parkway, Alberta).
The first couple show the Arctous with one of the white flowered Dryas discussed earlier; (these shots should be a little darker, but not as much as you think- at this time of year, many of the Dryas have not made a lot of new growth and mats appear largely grey)..
Third shot is with Hedysarum boreale in flower, and a low but not prostrate Salix sp/willow- maybe about a foot tall..
Last couple show the Arctous with an Antennaria sp..
I'd have to review all my photos to be sure, but I think the Arctous at this site are all/mostly on fairly low/flat areas between the mounds and ridges of glacial deposit, and also, I think on the gentle slope a little farther back which has clearly been vegetated much longer than these gravelly rocky zones- though even these have been free of the glacier for many decades to well over a century. In this zone there would be little to no humus apart from what these subshrub mats have created themselves. I also assume these areas are generally fairly moist, though I think this summer I saw the area looking dryish for the first time (I mean first time I saw such a thing, which is not saying that much) though that was likely superficial..
More to come..