Gardening Questions And Answers
Snowberry bushes, also known as waxberry or ghostberry, are native to North America. They are deciduous shrubs meaning they lose their leaves in the winter just like many trees. Most have white berries which is the source of its names, snowberry, waxberry and ghostberry. Each berry contains two seeds.
The common snowberry blooms into a dainty pink flower during the spring and summer seasons. Although the fruit may look a bit temping to eat, it is not edible. The common snowberry is high in saponins, which are mildly toxic to humans and pets, but very beneficial for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
Diagnostic Characters: Oval leaves are opposite with smooth or wavy-toothed margins; sometimes hairy on the undersides; often larger and irregularly lobed on sterile shoots. Flowers are small, pink to white bells in dense, few-flowered clusters. Fruit are white berry-like drupes containing two nutlets.
Snowberries are rated for USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 7. Snowberries are an asset in wildlife gardens where they provide food and shelter for birds and small mammals. Bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds are attracted to the shrub. They also do well in exposed areas where they tolerate strong winds.