Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook.
Western Snowberry, Wolfberry
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
USDA Symbol: SYOC
A small shrub, to 4 ft. tall, with numerous erect branches arching at the top. Gray-green leaves are opposite and oval shaped with coarse, round teeth. Clusters of non-showy, pink flowers are followed by greenish-white berries, soon discoloring to brown or black. Forms extensive colonies.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Fruit: Green, Purple
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SD , TX , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: Man. to s.e. B.C., s. to MI, n. NM & n. WA
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky hillsides; sand plains; prairies; open woods
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, infertile gravels to deep, well-drained, prairie loams.
Conditions Comments: Short-lived but vigorous suckering habit can maintain colonies. Used for erosion control.
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
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Symphoricarpos occidentalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphoricarpos occidentalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphoricarpos occidentalis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-02
Research By: TWC Staff