Posted by: Sandy Steinman | December 26, 2011

Manzanita And Snowberry

I went to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden (Berkeley, CA) in Tilden Park today.  My main goal was to see the early blooming winter Manzanitas.  As a California native plants garden they have many species including rare and endangered one.  The snowberry also grabbed my interest today.

Manzanita is a common name of plant genus Arctostaphylos. The Jepson eflora lists 129 species and subspecies in California.  They range from low growing ground covers to small trees. They are evergreen, many species have beautiful reddish bark and produce small clusters of white to pink bell-shaped flowers. They bloom primarily in winter and early spring and then produce berries, some of which are bright red, in spring and summer. Manzanita is little apple in Spanish.

Snowberry is the common name of the plant genus Symphoricarpos. The Jepson eFlora lists 8 species and subspecies in California. The flowers are small, greenish-white to pink and can easily be overlooked.  The fruit is very conspicuous and can vary from white to pink to red to blackish purple. The fruits often stay on the plants for a long time. The white, Common Snowberry (S. albus) is an important winter food source for quail, pheasant, and grouse, but is considered poisonous to humans. It is the one included in today’s photos.

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  1. […] Manzanita And Snowberry ( […]


  2. Lovely views of some of your native plants. Does the snowberry ever grow in places that have snow? If so, there’d be a chance to take a picture of snowberry with snow on it.

    Steve Schwartzman


    • Yes two species that grow in the Sierra Nevada are Mountain Snowberry Symphoricarpos rotundifolius and Creeping Snowberry Symphoricarpos mollis, The ones in the photos are Common Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus I have seen the mountain species but never photographed them in the snow.


  3. Those snowberries were looking great when I visited Tilden in late October too!


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