Fruit of snowberry.

Snowberry is a native shrub commonly used en masse or in naturalized landscapes.  Thin, cascading branches produce small, pink flowers that appear in spikes in early summer followed by clusters of white berries in autumn.


"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."   

Botanical name:

Symphoricarpos albus

All Common Names:

Snowberry, Common snowberry

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing

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 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

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 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. Tolerant of shade but will produce less flowers.
Suckers profusely and will form large 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 leaves, 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.

Location of Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry) at the Arboretum