Symphoricarpos albus
Common name: 
Common Snowberry
sim-fo-ri-KAR-pos al-BUS
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub, 1.5-7 ft (0.5-2 m), broad, rounded, suckers.  Leaves, simple, opposite, undulated-lobed margin.  Small pink-white flowers, pea-sized, but variable; white fruit (turns to a brown mush late), persists into winter.
  • Sun to part shade.  Prune to ground in early spring and fertilize to produce luxuriant growth and large masses of berries.  "Not a first-rank shrub, but useful in its tolerance of poor soil, urban air. Withstands neglect (Sunset)."
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3      Widely distributed across North America.
  • Sometimes the species is separated into two varieties: Symphoricarpos albus var. albus, a relatively low growing shrub (to 1 m) found in eastern North America, and Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigtus, a larger shrub (to 2-3 m) found on the Pacific slope (Hitchcock and Cronquest, 1973).  Another species of Snowberry is Symphoricarpos mollis, Mountain Snowberry, a trailing shrub found at higher elevations than S. alba which can be used for quickly retaining steep embankments.
  • There are a few cultivars, one of which is variegated.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: southeast of Fairbanks Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit, larger

    plant habit, larger

  • leaves, variation

    leaves, variation

  • leaves and flowers

    leaves and flowers

  • developing fruit

    developing fruit

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • leaves and fruit, fall

    leaves and fruit, fall

  • plant habit and fruit, winter

    plant habit and fruit, winter