Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Symphoricarpos mollis


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Snyder, S. A. 1991. Symphoricarpos mollis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : SYMMOL SYNONYMS : Symphoricarpos hesperius SCS PLANT CODE : SYMO COMMON NAMES : creeping snowberry snowberry spreading snowberry trailing snowberry TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of creeping snowberry is Symphoricarpos mollis Nutt. (Caprifoliaceae). There are three recognized varieties [15,16,24] and one recognized subspecies [33]: Symphoricarpos mollis var. hesperius (G.N. Jones) S. mollis var. mollis S. mollis var. acutus Gray S. mollis ssp. hesperius LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Creeping snowberry has a very limited range, from southern, coastal British Columbia south to southern California and from Washington east to northern Idaho [15,16,24,33]. Distribution of the varieties are as follows [15]: var. hesperius - from southern British Columbia to northwestern California var. acutus - Sierra Nevada Mountains and southern Cascade Mountains var. mollis - cismontane California ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce FRES27 Redwood FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub STATES : CA ID OR WA BC BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 8 Northern Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K004 Fir - hemlock forest K005 Mixed conifer forest K006 Redwood forest K007 Red fir forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K029 California mixed evergreen forest K030 California oakwoods K033 Chaparral SAF COVER TYPES : 207 Red fir 210 Interior Douglas-fir 211 White fir 213 Grand fir 221 Red alder 224 Western hemlock 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock 231 Port-Orford-cedar 241 Western live oak 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 244 Pacific ponderosa pine - Douglas-fir 245 Pacific ponderosa pine 246 246 California black oak 247 Jeffrey pine 248 Knobcone pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Creeping snowberry is a dominant shrub in a few forested communities. Publications listing creeping snowberry as an indicator or dominant species in habitat types (hts) and plant associations (pas) are listed below. Area Classification Authority OR: Siskiyou forest hts Atzet & Wheeler Mountain Prov. 1984 OR: Willamette NF forest pas Hemstrom & others 1987 WA: Gifford Pinchot forest pas Topik 1989 NF


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : NO-ENTRY PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Creeping snowberry provides nesting cover for the endangered least Bell's vireo, in southern California [10]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Creeping snowberry is useful for erosion control because of its rhizomes [21]. It can be propagated through cuttings or, less successfully, by seed. Seeds should be collected from September through October. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Traditionally, Native Americans crushed the leaves of creeping snowberry to treat sores and wounds. The bark was boiled to remedy tuberculosis and venereal disease. Stems were used for arrows and pipes [11]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Saponin in the leaves of creeping snowberry could be toxic to livestock and wildlife, but no ill effects have been reported on Western ranges [31]. Creeping snowberry did not show significant increases in cover until 40 years following clearcutting and broadcast burning in western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)/Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) habitat types in the western Cascade Mountains of Oregon [28].


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Creeping snowberry is a trailing shrub about 1.5 to 2 feet (0.3-1.5 m) high. Its branches trail from 3 to 6 feet (1-3 m). Leaves are opposite on hairy twigs; flowers form clusters. Creeping snowberry produces a white, round fruit with two nutletts [11,15,24]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Creeping snowberry mainly reproduces by rhizomes. It is typically not a seed banker as seeds "probably are not viable for long or do not survive fire" [22]. Birds and small mammals disperse seeds [11]. To break dormancy, seeds can be treated with sulfuric acid and stratified for 6 months in sand or soil at temperatures between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2-8 degrees C) [21]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Creeping snowberry most commonly occurs on dry, sunny slopes at low to mid elevations [2,4,11,16,33], although it can occur in shady, mesic communities as well [6,24,25]. Creeping snowberry forms its greatest cover in 60 to 100 percent full sunlight [7]. Elevational ranges have been listed for California: 1,000 to 5,000 feet (305-1,500 m) [6,12] and Oregon: 1,000 to 6,480 feet (305-1,975m) [2,3,29]. Creeping snowberry occurs on coarse sands and gravels, sandy alluvium deposits, as well as fine sandy-loam and silt loams, and moderately deep floodplains and terraces [13,20]. In British Columbia creeping snowberry occurs in maritime and submaritime climates on moderately dry nitrogen-medium soils [33]. Some overstory associates of creeping snowberry include big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), California hazel (Corylus cornuta), incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), red alder (Alnus rubra), white fir (Abies concolor), red fir (A. magnifica), western hemlock, and Douglas-fir. Some understory associates include redstem ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus), salal (Gaultheria shallon), red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) oceanspray (Holodiscus spp.), rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.), mahonia (Berberis spp.), currant (Ribes spp.), rattail fescue (Festuca myuros), and silver hairgrass (Aira caryophyllea) [3,4]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Creeping snowberry is an indicator in some forested communities of the Pacific Northwest [1,11,29]. It is shade intolerant and indicative of warm, dry sites [10,14,33]. It becomes a dominant shrub in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) stand openings [19]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Flowering dates for creeping snowberry have been listed as follows: Oregon: June through July [11] southern California: March through August [6]


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Creeping snowberry reproduces by rhizomes following fire [22]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving rhizomes off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Symphoricarpos mollis
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Creeping snowberry is usually top-killed by fire [22]. Some consider it to be a weak sprouter after fire because rhizomes in the humus layer can be destroyed [25]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Creeping snowberry sprouts from rhizomes following fire [22]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : In northern Idaho creeping snowberry increased to a maximum 100 percent canopy cover five years following a clearcut and low severity broadcast burn; it increased to a 95 percent cover after a high severity broadcast burn [23]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Creeping snowberry is a potential spot fire hazard when near firelines [25].

References for species: Symphoricarpos mollis

1. Atzet, Thomas; Wheeler, David L. 1982. Historical and ecological perspectives on fire activity in the Klamath Geological Province of the Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forests. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 16 p. [6252]
2. Atzet, Thomas; Wheeler, David L. 1984. Preliminary plant associations of the Siskiyou Mountain Province. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 278 p. [9351]
3. Bailey, Arthur Wesley. 1966. Forest associations and secondary succession in the southern Oregon Coast Range. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 166 p. Thesis. [5786]
4. Bailey, Arthur W.; Poulton, Charles E. 1968. Plant communities and environmental interrelationships in a portion of the Tillamook Burn, northwestern Oregon. Ecology. 49(1): 1-13. [6232]
5. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]
6. Conrad, C. Eugene. 1987. Common shrubs of chaparral and associated ecosystems of southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-99. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 86 p. [4209]
7. Emmingham, W. H. 1972. Conifer growth and plant distribution under different light environments in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 50 p. Thesis. [9651]
8. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
9. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]
10. Gray, M. Violet; Greaves, James M. 1984. Riparian forest as habitat for the least Bell's vireo. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings of a conference; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 605-611. [5862]
11. Halverson, Nancy M., compiler. 1986. Major indicator shrubs and herbs on National Forests of western Oregon and southwestern Washington. R6-TM-229. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 180 p. [3233]
12. Halvorson, William L.; Clark, Ronilee A. 1989. Vegetation and floristics of Pinnacles National Monument. Tech. Rep. No. 34. Davis, CA: University of California at Davis, Institute of Ecology, Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit. 113 p. [11883]
13. Hawk, G. M.; Zobel, D. B. 1974. Forest succession on alluvial landforms of the McKenzie River Valley, Oregon. Northwest Science. 48(4): 245-265. [9686]
14. Hemstrom, Miles A.; Logan, Sheila E.; Pavlat, Warren. 1987. Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest. R6-Ecol 257-B-86. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 312 p. [13402]
15. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur; Ownbey, Marion. 1959. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 4: Ericaceae through Campanulaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 510 p. [1170]
16. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
17. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]
18. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496]
19. McDonald, Philip M.; Laacke, Robert J. 1990. Pinus radiata D. Don Monterey pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 433-441. [13401]
20. McNeil, Robert C.; Zobel, Donald B. 1980. Vegetation and fire history of a ponderosa pine-white fir forest in Crater Lake National Park. Northwest Science. 54(1): 30-46. [166]
21. Mirov, N. T.; Kraebel, C. J. 1937. Collecting and propagating the seeds of California wild plants. Res. Note No. 18. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p. [9787]
22. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
23. Fetcher, Ned; Beatty, Thomas F.; Mullinax, Ben; Winkler, Daniel S. 1984. Changes in arctic tussock tundra thirteen years after fire. Ecology. 65(4): 1332-1333. [7234]
24. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
25. Neuenschwander, L. F. [n.d.]. The fire induced autecology of selected shrubs of the cold desert and surrounding forests: A-state-of-the-art-review. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Range Sciences. In cooperation with: Fire in Multiple Use Management, Research, Development, and Applications Program, Northern Forest Fire Laboratory, Missoula, MT. 30 p. Unpublished manuscript on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [1747]
26. Ossinger, Mary C. 1983. The Pseudotsuga-Tsuga/Rhododendron community in the northeast Olympic Mountains. Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University. 50 p. Thesis. [11435]
27. Sawyer, John O.; Thornburgh, Dale A. 1977. Montane and subalpine vegetation of the Klamath Mountains. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 699-732. [685]
28. Schoonmaker, Peter; McKee, Arthur. 1988. Species composition and diversity during secondary succession of coniferous forests in the western Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Forest Science. 34(4): 960-979. [6214]
29. Topik, Christopher. 1989. Plant association and management guide for the grand fir zone, Gifford Pinchot National Forest. R6-Ecol-TP-006-88. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 110 p. [11361]
30. Ferguson, Dennis E.; Boyd, Raymond J. 1988. Bracken fern inhibition of conifer regeneration in northern Idaho. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 11 p. [2834]
31. Tiedmann, Arthur R.; McArthur, E. Durant; Stutz, Howard C.; [and others], compilers. 1984. 1984 Proceedings--symposium on the biology of Atriplex and related chenopods; 1983 May 2-6; Provo, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-172. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 309 p. [2337]
32. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573]
33. Klinka, K.; Krajina, V. J.; Ceska, A.; Scagel, A. M. 1989. Indicator plants of coastal British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press. 288 p. [10703]