Symphoricarpos albus

Common Snowberry




  • native from Nova Scotia and Alberta south to Minnesota and Virginia
  • hardy to zone 3

Habit and Form

  • deciduous multi-stemmed shrub
  • 3-6 ft. tall and wide
  • bushy, rounded habit
  • twiggy, dense branching
  • spreads by suckers underground

Summer Foliage

  • opposite, simple leaves
  • ovate, rounded shape
  • blue-green color
  • pubescent undersides

Autumn Foliage

  • no appreciable fall color


  • terminal spikes on current growth
  • pinkish, tubular blossoms .25" long
  • blooms not very showy


  • round to oval drupe .5" diameter
  • brilliant white color
  • persist September-November
  • very ornamental


  • rounded, pubescent stems
  • thin, brown bark


  • easy to transplant
  • tolerates any soil
  • sun to medium shade
  • prune before new growth

Landscape Use

  • shrub border
  • shaded gardens
  • naturalizing


  • suckers profusely and spreads
  • little floral show
  • no fall color

ID Features

  • white fall drupes
  • rounded, bushy habit
  • suckering growth
  • opposite leaves and buds


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


var. laevigatus (also known as S. rivularis) - This is a more vigorous grower that is larger in all its parts. It grows taller than 6' and, most important from an ornamental perspective, features larger fruit that are more profusely borne.

'Variegata' - This is a delicate, fine-textured variegated form with white-edged leaves. It will reach 4' tall after many years.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.