E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Symphoricarpos hesperius var. hesperius G.N. Jones
trailing snowberry (creeping snowberry)
Caprifoliaceae (Valerian family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7530)

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Distribution of Symphoricarpos hesperius
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Species Information

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Deciduous, trailing shrub; stems reclining, 1-3 m long, often rooting at the nodes, forming small tubers, and producing erect branches to 60 cm high; twigs slightly short-hairy.
Opposite, on stalks 1-3 mm long, egg-shaped to elliptic, 1-3 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, entire or sometimes with a few coarse teeth or shallow lobes; leaves on vigorous shoots often larger and more frequently toothed or lobed, slightly hairy at least beneath.
Inflorescence a short terminal cluster of a few flowers, sometimes also a few flowers in the upper leaf axils; corollas widely and often asymmetrically bell-shaped, pale pink, 3-5 mm long, tubular at the bases, flaring to 5 lobes almost as long as the tubes; tubes with collars of short hairs around the top inside; styles 2-3 mm long, glabrous, about as long as the tubes; stamens as long as corolla lobes, the anthers 1 mm long, a little shorter than the filaments.
Berrylike drupes, clustered, white, nearly globose, 5-6 mm long; nutlets 2, each enclosing a single seed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry forests in the lowland zone; locally common on SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the lower Fraser Valley; S to N ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Symphoricarpos hesperius

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 196 800
Slope Gradient (%) 0 16 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 178 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(65), CWH(116), IDF(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine. Western North American shrub distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime summer-dry cool mesothermal climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils. Its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation, precipitation, and continentality. Sporadic in open­canopy Douglas-fir forests on water-shedding sites. Often associated with Campanula scouleri, Lonicera ciliosa, L. hispidula, Mahonia aquifolium, M. nervosa, and Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Symphoricarpos mollis Nutt.
Symphoricarpos mollis subsp. hesperius (G.N. Jones) Abrams ex Ferris
Symphoricarpos mollis var. hesperius (G.N. Jones) Cronquist

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References