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Common Snowberry



Other Uses

Medicinal Uses


* S. racemosus laevigatus. [PFAF]

General "Erect freely branching shrubs 0.5-2.5 m. tall"[HNW] Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 2 m (6ft).[PFAF] Deciduous.[IFBC-E-flora]
Lifecycle perennial. [WildPNW]
Flowers "Flowers pink or white, bell-shaped." [WildPNW] clustered. [CPPlantsMush] The flowers are hermaphrodite [PFAF]
Fruits "fruits pulpy, white, globose or nearly so, often deformed by crowding". [HNW] "...measure a quarter to a half inch in diameter." [Hart MNT]
Leaves leaf blades not hairy on the underside [PWOBC] Opposite, obtuse at base and tip, glabrous above.[IFBC-Eflora] 2-5 cm (1-2 in.) long [CPPlantsMush]
Stem Stems erect, with stiffbranches. [WildPNW]
Root often densely colonial from rhizomes[IFBC-E-flora]
Habitat "moist to dry forests, shady to open slopes, at low to mid".[WildPNW]
Range "Symphoricarpos albus subsp.laevigatus ...can be found in many places at least as far south as the San Francisco Bay region" [PWOBC] Dry, open woods throughout most of temperate North America.[CPPlantsMush] "Extremely common in S BC, common in C BC, infrequent northward." [IFBC-E-flora] transcontinental North America[IPBC-E-flora]
Status Native.[E-flora]
Similar Species Could be confused with Symphoricarpos hesperius - trailing snowberry [Personal Note]


"...once much used by native Americans."[DPL Watts] The plant was valued for external use because it contains saponins. "These saponins can be toxic, but when applied externally they have a gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the skin, killing body parasites and helping in the healing of wounds." [PFAF]



  • chelidonine - Extracts.[TNS]
  • secologanin.[TNS]
  • aesculin.[TNS]
  • sitosterol.[TNS]
  • saponins.[TNS]
  • tannins.[TNS]
  • terpenes.[TNS]
  • triglycerides.[TNS]
  • sugars.[TNS]
  • coumarins [TNS]
  • flavonoids[TNS]


"Tolerates most soils and conditions, including poor soils and amongst the roots and under the drip of trees[11, 200]." [PFAF]


"Stored seed requires 3 months warm then 5 months cold stratification[98]." "Cuttings of mature wood, 15 - 25cm long preferably with a heel, in a sheltered bed outdoors in winter. High percentage[78, 200]. Division of suckers in winter." [Unspecified][PFAF]


The information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes. Self diagnosis and treatment, without due diligence, could be harmful and is not encouraged. Some information & images may be copyright. Every effort has been made to present the information in the spirit with which it was originally presented. Some data has been omitted for legal and/or practical consideration. There is some data not covered in the scope of this project, including, but not limited to, cell culture and large-dose animal studies. I have made comparisons and links between related species which may later prove erroneous. I have not verified the information for accuracy and I accept no responsibility for its authenticity. Many of the plants presented are poisonous, have poisonous properties, or could cause illness through misuse, allergic reaction, drug interactions and environmental contaminants. Please use caution and mindfulness when harvesting plants for any use.

Page last modified on 31-10-2016