Snowberry (Chiococca alba) fragranced the moist air when volunteers Jean ‘JJ’ Romano & Susan Warmer took me on a walk at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area on the morning of 7/30/2014. Just a bit to the east of the DOT ditch, we found the snowberry covered with fragrant creamy yellow flowers. Silly me, I only had my cell phone – no camera.
After working on air potato control with Steve Goff, Steve Palmquist, Glenn Schuessler, and Bill Wexler, I went back on the following Sunday, camera (& tripod) in hand, and was disappointed to find that nearly all of the flowers were gone and were beginning to turn in tiny fruits. The light, unfortunately, was not cooperative, so soon I will try again to get better pictures.
If you go looking for the snowberry, please be aware, that with the regular, recent rains, the trails can be bit soggy and boggy …
Snowberry, properly sited, can be an excellent addition to your yard. Its snow-white fruits are consumed and spread by birds and other wildlife. Its flowers reportedly are favored by julia (Dryas iulia) butterflies. Be sure to consider the ultimate size of this clambering shrub. The mounds of snowberry along the trail edge are more than eight foot tall and wide. In shadier conditions, snowberry is more vine-like, climbing up other vegetation.