Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database


Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus (Snowberry)

Kingdom

 Plantae Plants

Subkingdom

 Tracheobionta Vascular plants

Superdivision

 Spermatophyta Seed plants

Division

 Magnoliophyta Flowering plants

Class

 Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons

Subclass

 Asteridae

Order

 Dipsacales

Family

 Caprifoliaceae Honeysuckle family

Genus

 Symphoricarpos Duham. snowberry

Species

 Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake common snowberry

Variety

 Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake var. laevigatus (Fernald) S.F. Blake common snowberry

Note: Throughout the years I've written short articles for our website's home pages (home pages are the front page of a website) about these plants. They are now included at the bottom of this page, and are illustrated by botanical drawings and paintings, some of which are from books published from 1500 - 1900.

Snowberry is a deciduous shrub that grows 2-4 and spreads rapidly.

Discreet, pink-white, bell shaped flowers adorn the delicate, thin twigs. Hummingbirds feed on the nectar.

The leaves grow in pairs and have a lovely blue tint.

The shrub is densely branched and often harbors many birds, notably the charming Rufous-Sided Towhee.

The large, white berries last through the winter and look wonderful both on the bush and added to decorative wreaths and winter bouquets. The berries are not edible to humans but delicious for birds and other wildlife (indeed there are very few white berries in the Northwest that people can eat).

Snowberry will succeed in both sun and shade and needs very little care once established.

It is native to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and is hardy between USDA zones 4-10.

   
  
   
. . . . and that's how the Snowberry got it's name. . . .

From Homepage November 17, 2005

Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, the winter beauty is beginning to shine. Many northwest native trees and shrubs have interesting features we only notice in winter time.

The Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) is a lovely little shrub with sweet flowers, oval leaves and a nice growth habit of naturally arching branches. After the flowers have gone by, snow-white berries form and decorate the bush in closely packed clusters.

Finally, when the weather turns colder the leaves will fall leaving behind the bunches of berries on the reddish stems. They look a little like frosted drops of rain.

It is to these enticing berries the birds are drawn to enjoy a winter meal. They'll return again and again until the berries are no more, not fallen on their own but devoured at last by the birds--a feast well done. The birds will fly to nearby trees to sing a song of thanksgiving to nature for providing such a repast.

Think of these birds and sing your own song of thanks. Even a smile as you pass someone on the street is something to be thankful for.

From Homepage December 31, 2007

The garden in winter can be as delightful as it is all the rest of the year. One of our favorite northwest native shrubs is the Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus). The snow-white berries last all through the winter, providing a feast for the eye and for wildlife, especially the Rufous-Sided Towhee. Though we humans cannot eat the berries, they are much enjoyed by our feathered and furred friends.

Snowberries are most remarkable for these clusters of berries but they are charming in late spring when the small pink bell shaped flowers bloom at the ends of the branches.

This small shrub will succeed in both sun and shade and is very durable once established. If you look along fences in the country you'll find Snowberries growing here and there, often in the company of various wild roses. Aside from the occasional 'pruning' done by machines the road maintenance crews use to chomp off all vegetation (friend and foe alike!), Snowberry grows merrily along in perfect health--the only gardener is nature.
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Contact:  star@chillirose.com ~ Copyright 2012 Wallace W. Hansen ~ All rights reserved