TREES & plants


Coralberry is a low-growing shrub that produces purplish red fruit that are a food source for several species of bird.  This shrub is native to Illinois.

Botanical name: 
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
All Common Names: 
Coralberry, Indiancurrant Coralberry, buckbrush
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 2
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Dry sites
  • Alkaline soil
  • Clay soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
  • Pink
Size Range: 
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Arching
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Thicket-forming
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
Time of Year: 
  • Early winter
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
  • Late fall
More Information: 


2 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide

Tree & Plant Care

Prune to manage suckers to limit the width of the shrub

Disease, pests, and problems

Powdery mildew, anthracnose, aphids and scale are possible problems

Native geographic location and habitat

Common in low areas and along the edges of woodlands

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Chickadees, robins and cardinals use the fruit

Bark color and texture 

Bark gray to brown, peeling into flakes or strips

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves arranged in pairs (opposite) on the twigs. 

Leaves oval to nearly round, small.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small, bell-shaped flowers in clusters; pinkish; inconspicuous

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small, purplish-red berry-like fruit from early fall into January