wolfberry

(Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

wolfberry

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

UPL - Obligate upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

 

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Moist. Prairies, moist low ground.

Flowering

Late June to August

     
Flower Color

White to light pink

     
Height

Up to 40

     

Identification

This is a low, bushy shrub that rises from rhizomes and forms dense thickets.

Young twigs are pale green to light red-brown and are covered with short hairs or, rarely, are hairless. Older twigs develop gray-brown, shredding bark.

The leaves are opposite, thick, and leathery. They are egg-shaped to oblong egg-shaped, 1 to 3 long, and to 2 wide. The margins are untoothed or have a few coarse, irregular, blunt or rounded teeth. The upper surface is hairless, the lower surface often has short, stiff hairs at least along the main veins.

The inflorescence is dense, short spikes of stalkless flowers rising from the upper leaf axils and at the ends of branches.

The flowers are urn-shaped with 5 white to light pink, spreading petals and 5 protruding stamens.

The fruit is a white to greenish white, berry-like drupe containing two seeds. The fruits turn purple in the fall.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle)

 

Subfamily:

Caprifolioideae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

western snowberry

wolfberry


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

drupe

A fleshy fruit with a single hard, stone-like core, like a cherry or peach.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       

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Plant

  wolfberry   wolfberry
       
  wolfberry    
       

Inflorescence

  wolfberry   wolfberry
       
  wolfberry    
       

Flowers

  wolfberry   wolfberry
       

Leaves

  wolfberry    
       

Infructescence

  wolfberry    
       
       

 

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   

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