White berry, which is popularly knowns as Snowberry is among the few plants with such a fitting name. It is a deciduous shrub, which means its leaves fall off every autumn. White berry welcomes by embellishing itself with a cluster of pink bell-shaped flowers that is later replaced by a cluster of white berry fruit hence getting its name Snowberry. It is also famous for other names such as ‘Ghostberry’, ‘Waxberry’, or ‘Bola de Nieve’ in Spanish. Its botanical name is ‘Symphoricarpos’ which is derived from the Greek words ‘symphorein’ means ‘to bear together’ and ‘karpos’ meaning ‘fruit’ that refers to the clustered berries this shrub bears.
The common white berry hails from swampy thickets of North America. One type of snowberry is native to China. The leaves of this plant are entirely rounded, with 1-2 lobes at the base, and the flowers are greenish-white to pink that appear in small clusters of 5-15 together in some or paired in others. It is mostly found in Canada and the north and west regions of the United States.
Snowberry is at its best in the landscape when combined with other plants. It brings an airy lightness to the understory that contrasts well with the thick evergreen leaves of salal and low Oregon grape, the red stems of red osier dogwoods, and the feathery green foliage of hemlock and western red cedar.
In wilds, this plant grows in areas that are waterlogged, for example, they grow along the river banks or muddy lowlands. Because of their robust roots, the plants are suitable for stabilizing hillsides and floodplains. Also, due to their adaptive nature, White berries can thrive in any native garden.
It is a plant of great importance for many animals in the Northwest regions of the Pacific. The white berry flowers attract pollinators and hummingbirds. Its nectar is a food source for bees, insects, and pollinators. Also, when there is food scarcity for birds, they eat the berries of this shrub. So, adding this distinguished beauty to your garden might invite some lovely birds and butterflies making it no less than a fairytale garden.
Snowberries are especially popular among new gardeners who aren’t sure how to tend to their green thumbs. So, if you are a new plant parent and looking to start by growing a plant that is easy to care for then Snowberry can be a great pick for you.
Importance of White Berry
In a garden, they make a real eye-catcher alone or with many plants. They come in many varieties and can be combined with a variety of plants. These deciduous shrubs are grown in gardens or balconies to levitate their beauty however, these plants are more than just an ornamental shrubs. Even though White berries are poisons for humans, interestingly have various uses for medicinal purposes.
Traditionally, snowberry leaves have been used as disinfectants, laxatives, diuretics, and fever-reducers. It is said that their leaves were chewed up and used in treatment for external wounds. The white berries contain saponins, a natural soapy substance that is used in the treatment and cleaning of the skin. Its weaker dilutions are used as eyewash for sore eyes and gentle cleanser for infants and children. On the other hand, a stronger dilution of snowberry is used in disinfectants to clean open sores.
In addition to its bark, snowberry roots were also used in the treatment of fever, stomach ache, common cold, and even tuberculosis. Their roots were used to extract the essence from snowberry bark, and their essence was used to treat sexually transmitted diseases and urinary dysfunctions.
When provided with the best care, snowberry can grow 3 ft. to 6 ft. high and 2 ft. to 4 ft. wide. This tropical shrub is tolerant to almost tolerant to all growing conditions however there are certain factors that can promote healthier growth of the plant. Here is a care guide for better growth of White berry.
White berry favors full sun or dappled shades rather than completely shaded areas. They require at least 5 hours of direct sunlight. So, if you plan to grow them indoors, it is best to place them at a location that is well-exposed to the sun.
Snowberry can survive on natural rainfall alone but plants in the growing phase need regular watering for 1st year after being planted. Just keep their soil moist until the plant is established. After that, you can water once or twice every week.
White berries can grow in almost all kinds of soil. Although they prefer clayey soil, they are still cool with sandy or rocky soil.
Temperature and humidity
This tropical shrub thrives in warm and humid climatic regions. However, it does not like sweltering hot or freezing weather. If you are growing it inside the house, plant it apart from other houseplants. Also, they should be kept in a space that allows good circulation of air to avoid any incidence of disease.
The snowberry can be easily multiplied by cuttings since cuttings are one of the easiest techniques. You can any method among root and stem cuttings to clone this charming shrub. It can also be propagated through the germination of the seeds.
Maintenance and Pruning
Maintaining White berry is really easy, however, it is invasive and will produce suckers if not kept in check. Discard these suckers promptly if you don’t want them spreading. You can also set up a system similar to that of the bamboo rhizome barrier i.e., burying a sheet of special thick plastic so that roots don’t go deeper.
Besides this, you can always prune the plant, provided it is well established. Do away with any dead wood or fragile branches that are likely to bother the plant’s growth. Additionally, you can trim them at the center for better light filtration for branches at a lower location.
Try to avoid pruning in summer and keep from removing large roots as it might cause transplant shock damage and make the plant suffer.
Fighting Pests and Diseases
As snowberries are quite hardy, they are rarely attacked by pests, and they handle most of their symptoms very well on their own comparatively often, so aphids on the snowberry become a problem. Spraying the pests here with a water jet adjusted to relatively high pressure can aid the natural defense. And for aphid infestation, that is persistent and very severe is enough to rely on a chemical agent.
Even though White berry is not the best-behaved shrub but it has some charm in it that keeps it interesting all year long. The endearing flowers decorating its shrub during spring make it the center of attraction.
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