Common Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus  • 

General description

This is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with upright, arching shoots bearing oval to oblong, dark green leaves and has small pink flowers in summer but it's usually grown for the elegant white berries that it produces in the autumn. The berries are round, fleshy and last long after the shrub has shed its leaves for the year. It grows reasonably quickly and is a good choice for gardeners looking for a shrub to liven up an autumn border. It's happiest in a sunny spot in fertile soil, but it's also adaptable enough to cope with a partially shaded area. The berries can cause a mild skin irritation when handled, so do wear gloves if handling the plant.

It will reach a height of 2m and a spread of 2m after 10-20 years.

Plant requirements

Cultivation: Grow in any fertile, reasonably well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Pollution tolerant.

Soil type: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light: Full Shade, Full Sun, Partial Shade

Aspect: North, South, East, West

Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered

Hardiness: Hardy (H4)



Pests: Generally pest free.

Diseases: Generally disease free.

Propagation methods: Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings, Suckers.

Practical use

Suggested uses: Banks and Slopes, Drought Tolerant, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Resistant to pollution


1 - 200 cm
Soil type
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Well-drained, Moist but well-drained