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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 Eastern U.S.

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

Size & form

A spreading, arching shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Grows in sun or shade. Best in well drained soil, but tolerant of temporary wet sites.
Thrives on neglect.
Prune to manage suckers to limit the width of the shrub.
Prune in spring to initiate more flowers.

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 from eastern U. S. to TX and SD to CO

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Many birds, including 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

Opposite, simple leaves arranged in pairs on the twigs. 
Small, oval to nearly round leaves; dull green  to blue-green changing to yellow-green in fall

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small,inconspicuous, bell-shaped flowers in terminal clusters in late June through July

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

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