Symphoricarpos albus

snowberry, waxberry

Snowberry is an upright growing deciduous shrub with elliptic to oval leaves. Flowers are pink to white and bell-shaped, turning to white fruits in fall that remain on the plant through the winter, giving the impression of falling snow.

Cultural Narrative: 

The berries of common snowberry are not generally considered to be edible; many groups consider the berries to be poisonous or toxic. The twigs or branches can be hollowed out to make pipe stems. Berries might be used to cure sore eyes or as a diarrhea cure.

Traditional Knowledge: 

In several Plateau languages the name for this plant means "corpse berries" or "ghost berries."

Location Description: 

Snowberry grows from southeast Alaska to southern California, across the northern United States and the Canadian provinces, and sporadically throughout the Rocky mountains. It prefers open forests, thickets, and dry slopes.