Native Plant of the Month: Snowberry

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Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus

By:
Guest Writer Michael Teton  

 

During the fall and winter seasons at Shadow Lake Bog you may have noticed that all the berries have disappeared except for one very distinctive white berry. This berry, known as the snowberry, blooms in spring and keeps its berries throughout the winter season. These berries, however, are for viewing purposes only because they are poisonous to humans if consumed.

The snowberry leaves and twigs are perfect for browsing by local deer and the shrub provides shelter for birds and small animals. Despite the toxicity of their fruit, the native tribe, Stl’atl’imx, used a single berry to settle their stomachs after large meals. The white berries are a great decorative addition to winter of the pacific northwest.

Want more knowledge? Follow the links below!

Washington Native Plant Society: Snowberry 
NRCS: Snowberry Fact Sheet