No report of toxicity has been seen for this species but the fruit of many if not all members of this genus 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 destroyed 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
. 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].
Fruit - raw or cooked. Scarcely eaten
. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter
. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity above.
Plants can be grown as a hedge or informal screen
. They are very tolerant of trimming.
Plants have an extensive root system and also sucker freely, they can be used for soil stabilization
There are no material uses listed for Symphoricarpos orbiculatus.
A decoction of the inner bark or leaves has been used as a wash in the treatment of weak, inflamed or sore eyes
A cold decoction of the root bark has been used as an eye wash to treat sore eyes
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months warm then 5 months cold stratification
. 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.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 15 - 25cm long preferably with a heel, in a sheltered bed outdoors in winter. High percentage.
Division of suckers in winter. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Tolerates most soils and conditions, including poor soils and amongst the roots and under the drip of trees
. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a well-drained soil
. Does well in sun or shade
. Tolerates urban pollution and maritime exposure
A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c. Plants sucker freely and quickly form thickets.
This species does not fruit freely in Britain, except after a hot summer. A good bee plant.
There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value.
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. 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 orbiculatus.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
- Strong wind
- Maritime exposure
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
? 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.103.113.123.13 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? 4.04.14.2 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
? 8.08.18.28.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
? 9.09.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
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