Symphoricarpos sinensis Rehder

TSO logo


Kindly sponsored by
The Normanby Charitable Trust


Owen Johnson (2021)

Recommended citation
Johnson, O. (2021), 'Symphoricarpos sinensis' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-06-18.

Erect shrub to 2.5 m tall. Shoots glabrous or pubescent; older bark shredding. Leaf ovoid, 15–25 × 12–18 mm, glabrous, greyish beneath, base cuneate, apex obtuse or acute, margin entire; petiole 1–2 mm long. Flowers July–September, paired in the upper axils of young growths. Sepals to 1 mm, glabrous, acute. Corolla white, bell-shaped, glabrous, 5–7 mm long, lobes ovate, slightly shorter than the tube, tube slightly gibbous at base. Stamens equally or slighlty exceeding the corolla, anthers c. 2 mm. Style 6–7 mm, glabrous. Fruit bluish-black, bloomed, ovoid, c. 7 mm long. (Flora of China 2021).

Distribution  China Gansu, Guangxi, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan

Habitat Scrub, 600–2300 m asl. A rather rare and local plant.

USDA Hardiness Zone 6

RHS Hardiness Rating H5

Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)

The Chinese Snowberry differs from all of the New World species in its blue-bloomed blackish fruit; genetic analysis by Charles Bell (Bell 2010) suggested that, as expected, it is rather distantly related to the American group. It was introduced to the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts by Ernest Wilson and reached Kew in 1912 (Bean 1981), but is not a showy plant and has not persisted in cultivation in the west.