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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Common Snowberry - Symphoricarpos albus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Stems spreading to erect, highly branched, 50–150 cm; twigs brown, glabrous. Leaves ovate, 1–5 cm long, sparsely villous beneath. Inflorescence mostly with 6 flowers or less. Flowers: corolla campanulate, 4–7 mm long, lobes shorter than the tube; style glabrous, 2–3 mm long; style and stamens included. Berry 8–15 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Symphoricarpos albus occurs throughout North America, excluding Mexico. It may be associated with Festuca idahoensis or Cragaegus on north-facing slopes in the Palouse region of eastern Washington and northern Idaho (Daubenmire 1970, Allen et al. 1980). In the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon it is found with Festuca idahoensis, Agropyron spicatum, Poa sandbergii and Carex geyeri in grasslands and as an element of the understory in Ponderosa pine forests (Holechek et al. 1982). The species also occurs in Douglas fir zones of southern British Columbia (McLean 1969). Agee and Dunwiddie (1984) found S. albus in two habitats on Yellow Island in Puget Sound, Washington: (1) in woodlands associated with madrone, Oregon white oak, and invading Douglas fir and (2) as an element of the understory in Douglas fir- madrone-grand fir forests. According to Munz and Keck (1968), it is found on banks and flats in canyons and near streams below 4,000 feet in mixed evergreen forests, foothill woodlands, yellow pine forests, etc., of the Coast Ranges of California from Monterey County north and northern Sierra Nevada to Alaska.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6558

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist to dry forest; plains, valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Buckmaster, 2015. Community Composition Analysis of Altered Vegetation Communities Following the Release of Grazing Pressure. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozema, MT: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Guenther, G.E. 1989. Ecological relationships of bitterbrush communities on the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Holeckek, J.L. 1976. Initial effects of different species treatments and fertilizer rates on a mine spoils rehabilitation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 91 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Snowberry — Symphoricarpos albus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from