Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Snowberry
Give a thumbs up Common Snowberry
Give a thumbs up Ice Apple
Give a thumbs up White Snowberry

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 6 feet
Plant Spread: 6 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Suitable for forage
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Fruit is poisonous
Other: Low toxicity if eaten, causing vomiting and diarrhea from calcium oxalate and possibly saponic glycoside.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Suckering
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Goes Dormant
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
photo credit: H. Zell

Honey Bees in the Garden:  MayHoney Bees in the Garden: May
May 5, 2011

May is a month that showcases flowers for special days. Flowers for May Day, flowers for Mother's Day, flowers for Memorial Day and flowers for the honey bees.

(Full article10 comments)
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This plant is tagged in:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 22, 2017 6:55 PM

I used to occasionally see this shrub as an old-fashioned plant placed around the foundations of old houses from the 1890's through the 1920's in the Chicago, IL area in the 1970's into the 1990's. It was used like the old-fashioned Vanhoutte Spirea was with the same houses. The Common Snowberry has a large native range from most of Ontario way up into British Colombia, along the Pacific Northwest down to central California, in much of the Rocky Mountains, spots in the northern Great Plains, northern Minnesota, much of Wisconsin & Michigan, northern & central Illinois, over to areas in the Mid-Atlantic to areas of New York & New England in upland wooded sites and on slopes, cliffs, and banks. It is fast growing and with its shallow, fibrous root system it can ground sucker to form a colony. It has pretty bluish-green, opposite, rounded leaves about 2 inches long. It bears tiny pinkish-white flowers that develop into large white berries about 5/8 inch in diameter in September through November that is eaten by birds and small mammals. One might find some at large, diverse or specialty nurseries, but many native plant nurseries sell some.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 16, 2012 7:54 AM

Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Oct 22, 2013 10:45 AM

Native in the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to California, east across Canada and northern U.S. to the Atlantic coast. Waxy white berries hold through winter, and contain low concentrations of saponin causing vomiting and dizziness. Potential medicinal uses: infusion of fruit used as eyewash; crushed berries rubbed on burns, rashes, and sores; decoction of roots and stems used as diuretic and for venereal diseases; tea of roots used to clear up afterbirth. This is an important native shrub providing shelter and food for birds and small mammals, browse for large mammals. The leaves are eaten by the sphinx moth larvae. This plant makes a great combination with sword ferns in the winter, with the berries suspended above the ferns.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
bushes for the front of the house by random_bunny75 Aug 20, 2018 8:49 PM 30
Can i have help with this shrub? by Navek Jul 12, 2017 1:52 PM 3
Recognize this? by Toni Jun 18, 2017 5:19 PM 4
Plant Identification by cheshirema Dec 4, 2016 11:17 AM 3
Late summer, ornamental berries. by conniepr27 Sep 24, 2016 5:02 PM 15
Wild Fruits for the Wild Critters by JuneOntario Nov 24, 2013 9:45 AM 127
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130
Advice requested for Snowberry? by Skiekitty Dec 7, 2012 3:45 PM 7
What's Blooming in November... by Calif_Sue Jan 16, 2015 11:27 AM 145
Another bush for ID by threegardeners Nov 11, 2012 10:12 AM 8

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