Snowberry
(Symphoricarpos albus)
Simple
Roundish
Opposite
Untoothed
Deciduous
Simple
Lobed
Opposite

round and lobed leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

flowers

distribution map

The leaves are opposite, 2-4 cm long, and may be round or have several shallow, wavy lobes. All leaves are dull green and hairless, except beneath when young. They are on short stalks about 5 mm long.

ID check

Snowberry is an introduced, deciduous shrub, 1-3 m high. It spreads by suckers and forms large thickets in the woodlands and shrubberies, in which it has been planted for game cover.

The small, pink, bell-shaped, 5-petalled flowers are hairy inside and only 5-6mm across. They are arranged in spikes of 3-7 at the tips of branches and open from June to September.

The white, globe-shaped berries, 10-15 mm across, mature in autumn. Each berry has 2 parts each with a single seed, but they rarely ripen in Britain.

Facts

  • The berries are not very attractive to birds but are eaten by pheasants in hard winters.

  • The leaves are food for the caterpillars of Death's-head Hawk-moths.

  • It is a native of western North America, introduced to Britain in 1817.

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