Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus - snowberry, waxberry, snakeberry, white coralberry, corpse berry

Snowberry is most noticeable in autumn when its white waxy slightly poisonous berries glow on the bush. They persist long after the leaves have fallen. Flowering takes place in July-August with coral pink bell-shaped flowers which can easily remain unnoticed unless you look closely.

In the wild the snowberry is a shrub of the understory in the conifer forests on the Pacific or western side of the Rocky Mountains. The very similar S. albus var. albus is found on the eastern side of the same range.

Snowberry spreads easily by means of underground shoots, which is worth remembering when planting. The branches bend easily and do not break under the weight of snow. At Mustila it grows along the roads, near the car park, at the Festival Area and near Lepistö bend.

Among the English common names is that used by the North American First Nations, who believed the berries were eaten by the wandering dead, hence corpse berry.

Snowberry is familiar in Finnish gardens but there are in fact about 15 species, some of them with red or pink berries. Some of them would be worth trying here, e.g. S. orbiculatus.


Lehtipuut ja -pensaat