Symphoricarpos albus (Common Snowberry) CC DP


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Plant Description: A multi stemmed, rhizomatous shrub growing in a bushy, rounded, upright fashion. Gradually forming a thicket, the slightly arching branches make its appearance seem delicate. The blue-green rounded to oval leaves are opposite and divided into 5-7 leaflets with irregular lobes on young stems. Tiny pink to white tubular bell shaped flowers are not showy and form in small clusters at the end of the stems. Flowers bloom between March and May. 

The waxy white berries of this plant are more noticeable than the flowers. Berries were traditionally used by Indigenous communities for their gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the skin. Berries are toxic and should only be applied externally if used medicinally.  *CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE*

  • Height: up to 5ft
  • Width: up to 5ft
  • Watering needs: regular 
  • Sun needs: shade to part shade
  • Soil needs: moist to dry well-drained, tolerates seasonal flooding once established
  • Bloom Time: between March and May
  • Ripening Time: late summer into winter
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is widespread in the northern half of North America at sea level to mid elevations. It is found growing near streambanks, moist forests, as well as open slopes in the foothills of many mountain ranges, including the Coast Ranges of Oregon and California and the Sierra Nevadas.

We recommend planting Snowberry in a variety of gardens, including food forests, woodland and rain gardens, and meadowscapes. This plant attracts birds, who enjoy the berries.

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