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Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

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Currently not available.
Item #:
Currently not available.


Hardy, deciduous, North American shrub
Description:  Tiny pink blossoms in early summer followed by white berries which persist through the winter and are especially striking after the leaves drop
Habit:  Grows 4 to 6 feet high and wide
Culture:  Prefers full sun to partial shade, and fertile, well-drained soil
Hardiness:  Cold hardy to USDA Zone 3
Origin:  North America
Attributes:  Showy fruits, attracts birds
Jefferson documented

Thomas Jefferson sent seed of the Snowberry, brought back from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to his nurseryman friend Bernard McMahon.  In 1812, McMahon sent Jefferson young plants, saying "[t]his is a beautiful shrub brought by Captain Lewis from the River Columbia; the flower is small but neat, the berries hang in large clusters and are of a snow-white colour, and continue on the shrub, retaining their beauty all the winter, especially if kept in a greenhouse...I have given it the trivial English name of Snowberry-bush".  Jefferson promised the shrub to his Parisian friend, Madame de Tessé, and plants were sent to General John Hartwell Cocke, of Bremo Plantation on the James River in March 1817.  Monticello was one of the first American gardens where this shrub was grown and it became a popular garden novelty in England after it was first exported in 1817.

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