(L.) Symphoricarpos - sym - together, phoro - supports
or carries other parts, carpos - fruit.
snowberry / buckbrush / wolfberry/ western snowberry / ghost
This prairie shrub occurs in North America
from Alaska to New Mexico. In North America the genus includes
upwards to 15 closely related dwarf or medium thicket-forming
deciduous shrubs. Snow-berries have been used in wildlife plantings
and is being grown as ornamentals: it is ideal for tree underplantings.
It can be shaped at a level of 3 feet, which creates a large
dense surface. In full sun it will produce more white or pink
berries, which remain on the shrub for many weeks well into late
fall to mid winter.
will thrive in sun or shade, in sheltered gardens or as plantings
in open areas. The fruit is a berry-like drupe [single seed enclosed
by a bony coat]. Each contains 2 nutlets. These are flattened
on one side and are composed of a tough small embryo. The nutlets
are used as seeds.
Not only is this attractive shrub an attractive
addition to your yard, but a 'growing historic' mainstay of the
Blood and Cree plains people. The leaves were steeped to make
a wash for sore eyes. Slender twigs used as arrow shafts, and
the entire plant used for brooms. The fruit was boiled and given
to horses as a diuretic. Twigs or branches were burned and the
charcoal was used to blacken surfaces of new pipes, which were
then greased with animal fat then polished with a small piece
of skin. You may even consider growing a patch of sweet grass
to extol the virtues of our native Symphoricarpos.