Does anybody have a snowberry bush?

pixie_louJanuary 29, 2012

Symphoricarpus albus

How showy are the berries in winter?

It is being offered through the Middlesex Conservation District spring plant sale. The description says that it forms clusters of bright white berries that persist through winter. I'm just wondering how much of a show these berries are.

It's a small shrub, only 4 feet tall. So it could be an option for the front of my house - where I only like white flowers.

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Lusted after this shrub for years. . .finally got one - and three years later I'm
fairly underwhelmed. . .it may be I have sited it incorrectly, but this was a
mature shrub, and research allowed that it was a woodland inhabitant (so could
stand "some" competition) and comfortable in part shade. The first
two years I got zero berries, this past year only a handful. . .and they are
long gone. It will be interesting to see what other folks have to say. . .


    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Thanks for the input Carl. MCD sells small plants/shrubs - this is listed as being sold bareroot, 1'-2' tall. So I'm guessing I'd be many years away from fruiting. I don't want to wait a long time to be underwhelmed.

Still looking for other input.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I considered this shrub at one point, because it is reported to be able to grow where other shrubs might struggle. I remember seeing it many years ago, on a regular route that I walked frequently. I found the white berries interesting but the shrub itself didn't impress me. It didn't look very vigorous and the berries were sparse. At the time I hadn't started gardening yet, so I can't say what conditions it was growing in. It is a native that is on the endangered list which is supposed to be favored by pheasant, grouse and quail and if I had a different property in a location where I could expect populations of those birds, I would definitely figure a way to incorporate it into the garden. One thing to note, it is considered poisonous to humans, and not a danger of death, but gastrointestinal symptoms and dizziness if eaten. Maybe that can be said for a lot of shrubs though.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Thanks prairiemoon. This is not sounding like a shrub that I would want to make the focal point in a front yard garden. I've never seen a pheasant, grouse or quail nearby (maybe because I don't have a snowberry - ha ha ha). And even though my 7 year old is savvy enough to know not to eat wild berries, there are lots of kids in the neighborhood who aren't quite as bright.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:22AM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

I've had one for over ten years and is of loose form and would be considered scraggly. It suckers a lot and its berries are now brown and shriveled. I've never seen any bird species eat the berries and we do have grouse.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:17AM
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