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Woody > Symphoricarpos > Symphoricarpos orbiculatus > Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Coralberry, Indian Currant, Buckbrush

Origin:  Eastern United States of America and Mexico.
Shrub (deciduous)
Symphoricarpos symphoricarpos
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5a - 7a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H4 - H7
Temperature (°C)
-20 - 35
Temperature (°F)
-4 - 95
0.6 - 1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Deciduous upright standing shrub that is widespread. Spreads by using rhizomes and likes full sun to partial shade. A North American native with interesting pink/purple berries.
Used as a groundcover, background shrub or separation between landscape spaces. Tolerates shade well. Can be used as a hedge but needs to be densely planted as it does not grow very tall. The berries offer a nice touch of colour to the landscape as well as attract birds that are partial to eating sour berries.
Soil tolerance for this plant is very high and can be transplanted without worry. Being native to Eastern North America, rock and clay substrate work well. Abundant spreading of rhizomes is an indicator of a vigorous plant.
Upright, twiggy, broad and rounded. Arching branches give the plant a lanky presence.
ID Characteristic
Twiggy branch growth with leaves opposite and bunches of almost completely globular pink/purple berries. Colonizes in forested areas through spreading of rhizomes.
Anthracnose, berry rot, leaf spot, and rust.
Shady forests and field edges.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth and light brown on young plants and slightly darker and quite exfoliated bark on older specimens. Segregation of bark is unpredictable. Grows shaggier over time.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Axillary buds are protected by short spikes and are partially hidden. About 2 mm in length and somewhat scale-like, slightly pointed.
Leaf Description
Simple leaves 4-5 cm in length that are oppositely arranged and entire in shape. Leaves sometimes appear to be sessile.
Flower Description
Perfect 5 petal (Dicot) blooms which are 5 - 10 mm long and 5 - 8 mm in diameter. Yellowish white to pink in colour. Inconspicuous in form. Flowers occur on current year’s growth at the meristems which are protected by short spikes.
Fruit Description
Drupes in groups of 5 - 15 with an ovoid shape that are sometimes lumpy. Pinkish purple to deep red. Mostly globoid, bearing resemblance to snowberries though a little smaller. 5 - 10 mm diameter. Fruit persist until November.
Colour Description
Dull green leaves with bluish-green undersides. Leaves can achieve a certain amount of autumn colour but isn’t notable. Coral-purple berries are the best physical attribute to this shrub. Light to medium brown, shaggy and exfoliated bark. Fungus on berries adds greyish-brown hues when present in later months of autumn.
Texture Description
Medium texture for most of the year, except for in winter when all its leaves are shed. The twiggy branches can look somewhat disheveled. Possible to manipulate branches through braiding/weaving in autumn or early spring.
Seed or cuttings. A bath of sulfuric acid for about 60 minutes, afterwards, warm temperatures followed by cold stratification should assist with speeding up and breaking seed dormancy. Cuttings root readily in summer months.