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Common Snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus
About Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) Nurseries Show All Photos Common Snowberry is a native shrub in the Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) family that is found in many parts of the state, from the coast to east of the Sierras, primarily in moist, shady locations below 4,000 ft. It is moderately fast growing and long-lived, spreading by rhizomes to form a dense thicket where conditions are suitable. It grows in a rounded form with stem tips tending to droop, to a height of 5+ feet, with active growth during the spring and summer. Leaves are medium green and deciduous. Flowers are pink and bloom in the early summer. The fruit is a white berry that is valued by wildlife but toxic to people. This plant and others in the genus have many uses, in shady areas, for bank stabilization, in snowy areas, and to attract wildlife. There is some taxonomic disagreement over this plant, with some authorities recognizing only var. laevigatus.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 6 ft (0.9 - 1.8 m)

Max. Width
6 ft (1.8 m)

Rounded, Fountain


Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate

Winter Deciduous

Leaves are medium green in color

Flower Color
White, Pink

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist, shady places in the Coast Ranges, Central Valley, Sierras and foothills, Transverse Range and Peninsular Range. It is most commonly found in forested or woodland habitats.

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
13' - 9771'

Annual Precip. ?
3.5" - 119.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 3.52"

Coldest Month ?
28.3° F - 58.3° F

Hottest Month ?
49.1° F - 86.5° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 37.99 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Use with other woodland plants such as Dogwood (Cornus sp.), Pines or Firs (Pinus sp. or Abies sp.), wild Rose (Rosa sp.), native ferns, Oaks (Quercus sp.), and other trees, as well as larger chaparral shrubs such as Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

Wildlife Attracted
Various insects and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Berry and seed eating birds are attracted to the fruit.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

To control spread, prune rhizomes from unwanted areas in winter.

Pest Control
Powdery mildew is sometimes an issue. To prevent, make sure the plant has good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.

Propagation ?
Easiest to propagate from rhizome cuttings. For propagating by seed: Soak in concentrated H2 S04 1 hr. (or 3-4 mos. warm stratification) and 4-6 mos. cold

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Upright Snowberry, White Snowberry

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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