Native plants don't always have the most glamorous common names, but “Snowberry” is an excellent description of the display the Symphoricarpos family puts on at the end of summer.
This spreading shrub is great for holding hillsides that are in a bit of shade; in fact, they are one of the most recommended plants for the dry shade found under oak trees. They spread both by underground roots and by stems that touch the ground rooting on their own, eventually forming a nice woodland thicket (they also make fine container subjects). Small, pinkish, bell-like flowers in spring turn into interesting fruit as summer moves into fall, and eventually provide an important late-season meal for wildlife. Drought tolerant, a little summer water keeps their appearance before they turn deciduous in the winter.
The two most common forms of this plant are Symphoricarpos mollis, also known as Creeping Snowberry, and Symphoricarpos albus, which is a more upright form. S. albus var. laevigatus ‘Tilden Park’ (pictured here) is known for its particularly large berries; there is also a variegated leaf form of S. albus available. We also just added to our collection the smaller Symphoricarpos x chenaultii ‘Hancock’, which is known as “Coralberry” for its large pinkish fruit (so far we've only had a few flowers, but it's a happy plant with once a week watering).