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TREES & plants

Snowberry

Snowberry, a shrub native to the Chicago area, is commonly used in mass or in naturalized landscapes.  Snowberry is named for the white berries in autumn. Another attraction is the small, pink flowers that appear in spikes in early summer. 

Botanical name: 
Symphoricarpos albus
All Common Names: 
Snowberry, Common snowberry
Family (English): 
Honeysuckle
Family (Botanic): 
Caprifoliaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Hedge
Size Range: 
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • 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 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Season of Interest: 
  • Early summer
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Pink
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Round
  • Thicket-forming
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size & Form

A broadly-rounded suckering shrub reaching 5 to 6 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Tolerant of all soil types best in full sun to part shade. More tolerant of shade but will produce less flowers.
Suckers profusely and will form colonies.
Prune back in spring to promote more flowers.
Does not do well in wet soils.

Disease, pests, and problems

Powdery mildew, rust, galls, aphids, and leaf spots

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 10
Mesic dry open cliffs, open rocky slopes, dry wooded hillsides
Nova Scotia to MN and Virginia

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

A number of birds eat the fruit and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Bark color and texture 

brown, slender stems

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, broadly oval, pale blue-green, no fall color

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Inconspicuous, pinkish-white terminal clusters of bell-shaped flowers in early summer

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Large, 5/8-inch spongy, globular (drupe), white fruit in mid-autumn, often persisting into winter.