Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake
USDA Symbol: syal
A sparsely branched shrub 2-5 ft. tall, gradually forming a thicket 4-6 ft. wide. The slender, wiry twigs bear small, opposite leaves and inconspicuous flower clusters followed by large, snow white berries which eventually turn brown. This hollow-stemmed shrub has tiny, pinkish-white, bell- shaped flowers in small terminal or axillary clusters.
This plant was once popular in old-fashioned dooryard gardens; variety laevigatus of this shrub is also cultivated. Two other species are often encountered: Coralberry (S. orbiculatus), with sessile, axillary, purplish-green flowers and showy clusters of pink berries; and Wolfberry (S. occidentalis) a dry prairie shrub with pale pink flowers, leathery, oval leaves, and greenish-white fruit.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Amber Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
, WY Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Que. to AK,
scattered southward to MA, WV, WI,
n.e. IA, CO
& CA Native Habitat:
Wooded hillsides; rocky, open slopes
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Infertile sands and gravels. Conditions Comments:
Anthracnose, rusts, powdery mildews and berry
rot can be frequent problems. Var. albus is the easterly variety; var. laevigatus is a more erect, western plant.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Songbirds, gamebirds, small mammals and browsers use this plant for food, cover, and nesting sites.
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Berries. Low toxicity if eaten. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea. Toxic Principle: Calcium oxalate and possibly saponic glycoside. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Snowberry starts easily from suckers or offshoots; cuttings may also work well. Seeds need to be treated.
Seed Collection: Fruits can be collected anytime druing the fall and winter by stripping or flailing onto drop cloths. Seeds can be extracted by macerating the fruits in water.
Seed Treatment: Seeds sown in fall require warm stratification (80 degrees for 90-120 days). Spring sown seeds need an additional cold stratification (41 degrees for 4-6 months).
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009
I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, ORMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Research By: TWC Staff