Symphoricarpos is a small genus of about 15 species of deciduous shrubs in the family Caprifoliaceae. All but one are natives of North America and Central America; the one remaining is from western China. Its common names in English are Snowberry and Waxberry. It is a member of the Honeysuckle Family, the Caprifoliaceae.
The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long, rounded, entire or with one or two lobes at the base. The flowers are small, greenish-white to pink, in small clusters of 5–15 together in most species, solitary or in pairs in some (e.g. S. microphyllus). The fruit are conspicuous, 1–2 cm in diameter, soft, varying from white (e.g. S. albus) to pink (S. microphyllus) to red (S. orbiculatus) and in one species (S. sinensis), blackish purple.
Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) is an important winter food source for quail, pheasant and grouse, but is considered poisonous to humans. The berries contain the isoquinoline alkaloid chelidonine, as well as other alkaloids. Ingesting the berries causes mild symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, and slight sedation in children.Selected species:
Observations on Symphoricarpos occidentalis (Buckbrush) as forage in Billings County, North Dakota, 2005-2006.(COMMUNICATIONS-PROFESSIONALS)(Report)
Apr 01, 2008; Introduction. Dickinson State University maintains a small study area (approximately 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.45 km) in the badlands of...