Content Detail

Snowberry is a native shrub commonly used en masse or in naturalized landscapes. Thin, cascading branches produce small, pink flowers that appear in spikes in early summer, followed by clusters of white berries in autumn.

This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

  • Family (English) Honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Caprifoliaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest early summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and form:

Snowberry is a rounded suckering shrub reaching 5 to 6 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to eastern North America on mesic dry open cliffs, open rocky slopes, and dry wooded hillsides. C-Value: 10.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Butterflies are attracted to the flowers and a number of birds eat the fruit.

Bark color and texture:

It has brown and slender stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color:

The leaves are opposite, broadly oval, and pale blue-green.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

This shrub produces inconspicuous, pinkish-white, terminal clusters of bell-shaped flowers in early summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

There are large, 5/8-inch spongy, globular white fruit (drupe) in mid-autumn which often persist into winter.

Plant care:

Snowberry grows best in full sun to part shade and is adaptable to all soil types, except wet soils. In the shade, it will produce fewer flowers. Prune back in spring to promote more flowers. It suckers profusely and will form large colonies.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

No serious insect or disease problems, although anthracnose, leaf spot, powdery mildew, rust and berry rot may occur.


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