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Uses

Toxic parts

The fruit 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 broken down 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[1]. 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].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[2][3][4]. An insipid flavour, it is best if cooked[5]. The fruit is rather boring[K]. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter[6]. See the notes at top of page regarding possible toxicity.

Fruit

Material uses

Plants have extensive root systems and are used to stabilize soils on banks and slopes[6].

The branches can be tied together and used as a broom[7][8]. The berries contain saponins and have been used as a hair wash[8]. A mild decoction of the wood has been used as a cleansing wash for babies[8]. The crushed berries have been rubbed into the armpits as an antiperspirant[8].

Very tolerant of trimming, it can be grown as a medium to tall hedge[9]. Its main drawback as a hedge is its propensity to sucker[K].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Snowberry was commonly employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for the saponins it contains. These saponins can be toxic, but when applied externally they have a gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the skin, killing body parasites and helping in the healing of wounds. The native Americans used it to treat a variety of complaints but especially as an external wash on the skin[8]. The plant is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. Any internal use of this plant should be carried out with care, and preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See the notes above on toxicity.

The whole plant is disinfectant, diuretic, febrifuge and laxative[8]. An infusion of the stems has been drunk to treat stomach problems and menstrual disorders[10]. A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment of colds[8]. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied, or an infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash, in the treatment of external injuries[8]. A weak solution of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash for children whilst a stronger solution is applied to sores[10]. The fruit has been eaten, or used as an infusion, in the treatment of diarrhoea[8]. An infusion of the fruit has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes[8].The berries have been rubbed on the skin as a treatment for burns, rashes, itches and sores[8]. The berries have also been rubbed on warts in order to get rid of them - this treatment needs to be carried out at least three times a day for a period of a few weeks[8]. A poultice of the crushed leaves, fruit and bark has been used in the treatment of burns, sores, cuts, chapped and injured skin[8]. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of fevers (including childhood fevers), stomach aches and colds[8]. A decoction of the root bark has been used in the treatment of venereal disease and to restore the flow of urine[8]. An infusion of the root has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes[8]. An infusion of the whole plant has been drunk and also applied externally in the treatment of skin rashes[8].

A decoction of the roots and stems has been used in the treatment of the inability to urinate, venereal disease, tuberculosis and the fevers associated with teething sickness[8].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Hedge


Earth stabiliser

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

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[11]. 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[12]. Cuttings of mature wood, 15 - 25cm long preferably with a heel, in a sheltered bed outdoors in winter. High percentage[13][6].

Division of suckers in winter. They can be planted straight Tu into their permanent positions.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Tolerates most soils and conditions, including poor soils and amongst the roots and under the drip of trees[14][6]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a well-drained soil[6]. Does well in sun or shade[15]. Tolerates urban pollution and maritime exposure[6].

A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c[6]. A very ornamental but invasive plant, spreading by means of suckers[15][14]. Its flowers are much visited by bees and the fruit is very attractive to wild life[15][16]. There are some named varieties, developed for their ornamental value[14]. 'Constance Spry' bears a copious crop of large round berries.

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus
Genus
Symphoricarpos
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
3 x 2 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
  5. ? 5.05.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  6. ? 6.006.016.026.036.046.056.066.076.086.096.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
  8. ? 8.008.018.028.038.048.058.068.078.088.098.108.118.128.138.148.158.168.178.188.19 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0900629649 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.2 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  11. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  12. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  13. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  16. ? Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West. Naturegraph Co. ISBN 0-911010-54-8 (1962-00-00)
  17. ? Munz. A California Flora. University of California Press (1959-00-00)

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Facts about "Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyCaprifoliaceae +
Belongs to genusSymphoricarpos +
Functions asHedge + and Earth stabiliser +
Has common nameSnowberry +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partFruit +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has fertility typeBee +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateModerate +
Has hardiness zone3 +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useBroom +, Cosmetic +, Hair care + and Soap +
Has mature height3 +
Has mature width2 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useDisinfectant +, Diuretic +, Febrifuge +, Laxative +, Ophthalmic +, Poultice +, Salve +, Skin +, Stomachic +, TB +, VD + and Warts +
Has search namesymphoricarpos albus laevigatus + and x +
Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teheavy clayture preferenceHeavy clay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameSymphoricarpos albus laevigatus +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +