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City of Beaverton's Native Plant of the Month
Brought to you by the City of Beaverton Landscape and Urban Forestry Crew

Why Go Native?

Arbor Day Pat with Kids
  Arborist Pat Hoff teaches about Native Trees
Native plants and trees need less water and chemicals than non-native species, are more resistant to pests and diseases, and also attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial wildlife to your yard.  Simultaneously, they also reduce erosion and protect water quality.  Help keep our rivers clean and watershed healthy by planting a native on your property. The City’s commitment to bringing native species to Beaverton has been growing over many years.  To continue promoting native species, the City's Public Works department will highlight a native plant each month for home and business owners to consider when working outdoors.  Keep in mind; it is the home and business owners’ responsibility to maintain street trees located within the right-of-way adjacent to their properties.

Beaverton’s Native Plant of the Month: Common Snowberry
Common Name: Common Snowberry
Binomial Name: Symphoricarpos albusz
Soil Type: Prefers Moist
Sunlight: Ideal in Shade
Plant Type: Flowering Shrub
Form: Erect Main Stem with Side Shoots
Foliage: Deciduous
Fruit/Flower: Yes, Both

Common Snowberry close-up

The white “berries” of the Common Snowberry makes this shrub a popular ornamental with people.  Though they’re small (around a centimeter wide), the Pacific Northwest native’s berry-like fruit, called drupes, are an important food source for local wildlife, great for attracting bighorn sheep, bears, cattle, birds, and small mammals.  But the Common Snowberry’s drupes aren’t the only useful part of this shrub; Native Americans used the plant for medicine, soap, and even used the wood for arrow shafts.

 Common Snowberries can grow as separate shrubs, reaching a maximum height of 1-2 meters, or they can spread and form a dense thicket.  The leaves are oval-shaped and arranged on symmetrically opposite sides of the stem from each other.  Snowberry flowers appear in a tight cluster of up to 16 individual flowers, bright pink in color.

Contributing to the popularity of the Common Snowberry as a local native is its use for erosion control in wetland/riparian zones.  The shrub prefers wet soil and can tolerate flooding conditions better than others.  The Common Snowberry is planted in ecological restoration projects on distressed sites, such as abandoned mines.

Common Snowberry

This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department.  Visit Clean Water Service’s Native Plant Finder for interactive questions to help you find the right native plant to fit your needs!

Past Native plants of the month: