Common Snowberry

Hazards

Food

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

Description

Synonyms
* 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]

Ethnobotany

"...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]

Pharmacology

Phytochemistry

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

Cultivation

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

Propagation

"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]

References