Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Coralberry, Indian currant, Buckbrush

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)
Mathews, Ray
This small, mound-shaped, deciduous shrub with shredding bark on older wood and brown to purplish branchlets covered with short hairs visible under a 10x hand lens, usually grows to 4 ft. but can reach 6 ft. Its smooth, dull green leaves are opposite and roughly oval, tapering about equally to tip and base, up to 2 inches long but often less than 1 inch, with smooth, turned down margins and a rounded or broadly pointed tip. The greenish-white flower clusters are not as showy as the clusters of coral-pink to purple berries up to 1/4 inch in diameter which remain on the plant through winter.

Particularly common in Post Oak (Quercus stellata) woods, Coralberry forms extensive colonies and spreads by rooting at the nodes where it touches the ground. A good choice for a woodland garden.

Image Gallery:

25 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Notes: less than 2
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Purple, pinkish purple, coral pink, 1/8 inch
Size Class: 1-3 ft. , 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC
Native Distribution: Eastern US from New York south to eastern Texas, west to South Dakota and Colorado.
Native Habitat: Shaded woods, thickets, open woodlands, streambanks, river banks. Common in Post Oak woodlands (Quercus stellata).

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained sand, loam, or clay.


Use Ornamental: A low-growing forest shrub with attractive winter berries and persistent, bright green foliage for use in eastern North America.
Use Wildlife: Songbirds, ground birds, small mammals, and browsers use this plant for food, cover, and nesting sites.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2015-08-14