This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs, with opposite deciduous short-petioled simple leaves, and small white or pink, perfect flowers, in axillary or terminal clusters. Calyx-tube nearly globular, the limb 4-5-toothed. Corolla campanulate or salverform, regular, or sometimes gibbous at the base, 4-5-lobed, glabrous or pilose in the throat; stamens 4 or 5, inserted on the corolla. Ovary 4-celled, 2 of the cavities containing several abortive ovules, the other two each with a single suspended ovule; style filiform; stigma capitate, or 2-lobed. Fruit an ovoid or globose 4-celled 2-seeded berry. Seeds oblong; endosperm fleshy; embryo minute. [Greek, fruit borne together, from the clustered berries.]
About 10 species, natives of North America and the mountains of Mexico. Known as St. Peter's-wort. Type species: Lonicera Symphoricarpos L. Fruit white; style glabrous.
Stamens and style included: clusters usually few-flowered.
1. S. racemosus.
Stamens and style somewhat exserted; clusters many-flowered.
2. S. occidentalis.
Fruit red; style bearded.
3. S. Symphoricarpos.
Symphoricarpos racemosus Michx. Fl. Bor.
Am. 1: 107. 1803. S. racemosus var. pauciflorus Robbins; A.
An erect or diffuse shrub, 1°-4° high, glabrous, or usually so, the branches slender. Petioles about 2" long; leaves oval, obtuse at each end, sometimes pubescent or whitened beneath, 1/2'-2' long, entire, undulate, or those of young shoots sometimes dentate; axillary clusters few-flowered, the terminal one mostly interruptedly spicate; corolla campanulate, about 3" long, slightly gibbous at the base, bearded within; style glabrous; stamens and style included; berry snow-white, globose, loosely cellular, 2i"-5" in diameter.
In rocky places and on river shores, Nova Scotia and Quebec to British Columbia, south to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and in California. Commonly planted and sometimes escaped from cultivation. Races differ in size, habit and pubescence. Snowdrop-berry. Egg-plant. June-Sept.
Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 285. 1833.
Similar to S. racemosus but stouter, with larger leaves, 1'-3' long, more or less pubescent beneath, entire, or often undulate-crenate; petioles 2"-3" long; axillary clusters spicate, many-flowered, 6"-12" long; corolla funnelform-campanulate, 3" long, lobed to beyond the middle; stamens and glabrous style somewhat exserted; berry nearly globular, white, 4"-5" in diameter.
106. 1803. Symphoricarpos Symphoricarpos MacM. Bull.
Torr. Club 19: 15. 1892.
A shrub, 2°-5° high, the branches erect or ascending, purplish, usually pubescent. Petioles 1"-2" long; leaves oval or ovate, entire or undulate, mostly obtuse at each end, glabrous or nearly so above, usually soft-pubescent beneath, 1'-1 1/2' long; clusters dense, many-flowered, at length spicate, shorter than the leaves; corolla campanulate, sparingly pubescent within, pinkish, about 2" long; style bearded; stamens included; berry purplish red, ovoid-globose, 1 1/2"-2" long.
Along rivers and in rocky places, banks of the Delaware in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, west to western New York and South Dakota, south to Georgia, Kansas and Texas. Also sparingly escaped from cultivation farther east. Fruit persistent after the leaves have fallen. Buck-bush. Turkey- or snap-berry. July.