Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

Overview

Photo credit: © Algirdas. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8112466
Symphoricarpos albus
Common Names:
  • Lardy Balls, Symphoricapos racemosus, Symphoricarpos rivularis

Habitat:
  • Widely planted as cover for game in woodland and for hedging in urban and suburban area. Naturalising over time into woodland, scrub, hedgerows and waste ground. 

Description:
  • Snowberry is a bushy rhizomatous, thicket-forming perennial deciduous erect then arching shrub which can grow to 2-3m tall. It has slender stems with few branches.
  • Leaves usually 1.5 – 5cm long (can grow up to 7cm long), are rounded but occasionally lobed and are in an opposite arrangement.
  • From spring to the summer, clusters of tiny bright pink, bell-like flowers 6mm long, appear at the ends of the branches.
  • These are followed in late summer by waxy-looking, white berries which are up to 1.5cm in diameter.
  • Download N.I.E.A. ID guide

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • Widespread across Ireland, United Kingdom and much of Europe.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • Displaces native species by  forming dense thickets by suckering. Berries are poisonous to humans.

How did it get here?
  • S. albus was introduced as an ornamental plant and also widely planted in woods as game cover. 

Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland?
  • Widespread in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • More details can be seen on NBDC and NBN Atlas NI.

You can help by reporting any sightings:
Methods for Prevention:
  • Report any sightings.
  • Do not plant this species – plant native species instead.
  • Do not take or give cuttings from wild or cultivated plants.
  • Deadhead specimens that you are removing.
  • Dispose with care as it can rapidly germinate and grow in different habitats.
  • Know what you are growing.
  • Never collect plants from the wild.
  • Safely dispose of plants and growing media.
BE PLANT WISE!
 

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland