Coralberry is a low-growing, spreading shrub with arching stems that produce clusters of purplish red fruits in the fall. It is a good food source for several species of bird. This shrub is native to Eastern U.S. and a good plant for naturalizing in open woodlands or used to stabilize steep slopes because of its suckering habit.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 2,
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Early summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
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.
Moderate tolerance to aerial salt spray.
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 eat 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
Related cultivars and hybrids and their differences
Hancock™ Chenault's Coralberry (Symphoricarpos x chenaultii 'Hancock'): A low-growing, spreading shrub maturing at 24 inches high and 8 feet wide. Pink bell-shaped flowers and rosy pink berries.
Amethyst™ Kordes Doorenbos Snowberry (Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii 'Kordes'): A hybrid of S. alba var. laevitigatus x S. chenaultii. Grows 3 to 5 feet high with greenish-white flowers and globe-shaped; deep purplish-pink berries.