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Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

Thomas Jefferson sent seed of the Snowberry, brought back from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to his nurseryman friend, Bernard McMahon. In 1812, MaMahon sent Jefferson young plants, saying "This is a beautiful shrub brought by Captain Lewis from the River Columbia; the flower is small but neat, the berries hand in large clusters and are of a snow-white colour, and continue on the shrub, retainging their beauty all the winter, especially if kept in a greenhouse . . . I have given it the trivial english name of Snowberry-bush." Monticello was one of the first gardens where this shrub was grown, and it became a popular garden novelty in England after seed was first exported in 1817. The tiny pink blossoms form in late spring and are followed by the large white berries that are especially striking after the leaves drop.

Growth Type: 
Woody Shrub
Color(s): 
Pink, White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn Oval Bed
Planting Conditions: 
Sun and Part Shade
Blooming History: 
2002 Jul 5 to 2002 Aug 172004 Jul 29 to 2004 Aug 272006 Jul 11 to 2006 Oct 272007 Aug 16 to 2007 Sep 72008 Jul 11 to 2008 Aug 82010 Jun 28 to 2010 Aug 312014 Jul 23 to 2014 Sep 29
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Snowberry.

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