Snowberry Symphoricarpus spp.
Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Branching: Alternate
Other names: Wolfberry

There are several members of this genus throughout the continent, and at least two in Ontario (S. alba and S. occidentalis).  They are small, slender shrubs and easily overlooked in the winter, though they often grow in small "thickets".  They closely resemble some Honeysuckles and the Bush-honeysuckle.  The ones pictures here are S. alba.  Bush-honeysuckles don't have hollow stems, and regular Honeysuckles are likely to be taller and a lighter tan.  The white, spongy "berries" of Snowberry are distinctive.

Winter twig of Snowberry

Another view of the winter twig

Lateral buds

Another view of the lateral buds

Lateral buds and leaf scar

Winter twig and "berry" of Snowberry

The inside of the "berry" is white and spongy

A Snowberry leaf

Pith of Snowberry is hollow, like vine and non-native Honeysuckles, but unlike Bush-honeysuckle

Stem of Snowberry

A more striped-looking stem.  The bark can become somewhat shaggy with age

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copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
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