Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
Caprifoliaceae – Honeysuckle, elderberry family
The scientific name for snowberry is apt- the white (albus) fruit (carpos) are distinctly clustered together (sympho).
This three to six foot shrub is perhaps most attractive when the leaves drop in fall to expose ornamental clusters of white berries pendent on twigs. The one to two inch leaves are thin, opposite, and may be quite variable in shape. Leaves may be ovoid or lobed. The small pink flowers have five petals that unite to form a tube in typical honeysuckle fashion. Although largely avoided as a food source, some Northwest Native peoples used the berries as soap for washing hair, or as an emetic. The leaves were sometimes used as a poultice for cuts or boiled as a cure for colds. During the winter, the clusters of berries become food for birds and dainty ornaments in the natural garden (5-72).
Information courtesy of “The View From Springbrook Park; an Illustrated Natural History” by Ed Chinn.
Photos taken by Laura Tanz
Sponsored by Friends of Springbrook Park; Lake Oswego, OR