A bushy rhizomatous shrub widely naturalised in woodland, scrub, hedgerows and on waste ground; also formerly quite widely planted as cover for game in woodland. It reproduces by suckering and fruits freely, but rarely regenerates from seed. It spreads very slowly; dense thickets are normally the result of close initial planting. 0-385 m (Forest-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham).
S. albus was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1817, and was known from the wild by 1863. Since the 1962 Atlas it has consolidated its position almost everywhere.
Native of N. America; the plant naturalised here is the western var. laevigatus.
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Light (Ellenberg): 5
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.9
Annual Precipitation (mm): 992
Height (cm): 200
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2067
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 744
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4
Atlas Change Index: 1.74
Weighted Changed Factor: 22
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1980. Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles, edn 8, IV. Ri-Z.
1963. Garden shrubs and their histories.
1995. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 184. Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake. Journal of Ecology. 83:159-166.