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Symphoricarpos occidentalis - Hook.
                 
Common Name Wolfberry, Western snowberry
Family Caprifoliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards No report of toxicity has been seen for this species but the fruit of many if not all members of this genus contains saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins but it would take extremely large doses of many kilos of fruit from this plant in order to produce toxic symptoms[65]. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Bluffs, dry prairies and plains[43], mainly in the Rockies[11].
Range Western N. America - Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota to British Columbia, Kansas and Colorado.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Symphoricarpos occidentalis Wolfberry, Western snowberry


Symphoricarpos occidentalis Wolfberry, Western snowberry
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Symphoricarpos occidentalis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Synonyms
S. heyeri.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[161]. Insipid. They are best if cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails[177, 257]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200]. See the notes at top of page regarding possible toxicity.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Birthing aid;  Ophthalmic.

An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash for weak and inflamed eyes[257]. An infusion of the root has been used to cleanse the afterbirth and aid in convalescence[257].
Other Uses
Broom;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Soil stabilization.

Plants have extensive root systems and are used to stabilize soils on banks and slopes[200]. The branches can be made into brooms[257]. Very tolerant of trimming, it can be grown as a medium to tall hedge[200].
Cultivation details
Tolerates most soils and conditions, including poor soils and amongst the roots and under the drip of trees[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a well-drained soil[200]. Does well in sun or shade[1]. Tolerates urban pollution and maritime exposure[200]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months warm then 5 months cold stratification[98]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 15 - 25cm long preferably with a heel, in a sheltered bed outdoors in winter. High percentage[78, 200]. Division of suckers in winter. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Author
Hook.
Botanical References
1143200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
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Subject : Symphoricarpos occidentalis  

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