The Q&A Archives: Snowberry

Question: I understand that roundleaf snowberry is native to Colorado. Is it an evergreen? Does it make a good shrub? Any other info is appreciated.

Answer: The problem with common's hard to be sure just what plant it is! The plant with the botanical name Symphoricarpos albus (or S. racemosus) is called either snowberry or waxberry. It is native in dry and rocky soils, from Quebec to Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It grows to a height of about 3 feet.

Another plant, also called snowberry, is Symphoricarpos rivularis (or S. albus laevigatus). This shrub is native from Alaska to Montana and California. It grows toa height of 3 to 10 feet.

Another possibility is Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica). It is commonly referred to (at least where I live) as a Snow Berry. This, too, is native to Pennsylvania. It is a shrub that grows to about 9' in height and 3-8 feet wide. The berries are silvery-white, and look like they are covered in snow. It is very resistant to pests and disease, grows well in just about any soil, and will take part shade or sun. It is hardy in zones 2-7. You do need two or more plants for good berry production.

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