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CHENAULT'S CORALBERRY

PINK SNOWBERRY, HYBRID CORALBERRY

Symphoricarpos × chenaultii

Honeysuckle Family [Caprifoliaceae]

Flowers:
month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZpink  (mildly poisonous)
berry8Oct berry8oct berry8dec

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Deciduous
category
category8Broadleaf
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8red
inner
inner8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZtrumpet
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Arching shrub to 1.5m tall, with reddish pink flowers and later pink berries.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
A scramble of thin branches. Leaves normally matte green and in pairs.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Some branches arch out and start rooting at the tip when they touch ground.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Those leaves more exposed to the actinic rays turn reddish, particularly in autumn.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Leaves oval and in pairs. A pair of flowering stalks emerge in some of the leaf axils with a small cluster of small 5-8mm flowers at the ends.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Flowers reddish-pink with five petals. Here, in late autumn, only the sepal tubes remain, the petals and sexual organs having dropped off.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Flowers slightly hairy. The greenish-for-now slight bulge near the stalk will enlarge into a berry.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Berries pink. Remains of sepal tube at ends. Leaves also reddish now.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
The underside of the leaves is brownish in late autumn.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
The green to pink, still developing, berries are whitish in places. As they mature, the pinkier they become.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Berries mostly clustered at the ends of (some) branches.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Ripe berries still retain some white in places, un-like those of Coralberry which would be pink all over. Most importantly, the pink parts have white dots, and the white parts have pink dots, unlike the otherwise very similar pink/white hybrid Doorenbos' Coralberry (Symphoricarpos doorenbosii) which is another garden escapee.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Leaves slightly hairy.


18th Nov 2012, Pilks, Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal, Clifton. Photo: © RWD
Underside of one leaf (centre), top of another (middle top).


Not to be confused with : Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera) nor with Coral Necklace (Illecebrum verticillatum) [plants with similar names belonging to a differing families]

Easily mis-identified as : Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus).

Chenault's Coralberry is the hybrid between : Snowberry (Symphoricarpos alba) and what appears to be an absent parent (Symphoricarpos microphyllus) of which Clive Stace says should be checked.

Hybridizes with : Coralberry (Symphoricarpos obiculatus) to produce another garden variety Doorenbos' Coralberry (Symphoricarpos × doorenbosii) which so far only grows wild in Kent, but which is also very similar with dual colour pink/white berries, but the most important difference between Chenault's Coralberry and Doorenbos' Coralberry is that the latter lack white spots in the pink areas and pink dots in the white areas.

The difference between all four of these Symphoricarpos species is slight, and mainly a matter of the colour of the berries; whether they are totally white (Snowberry) (which suckers only from rhizomes; the other three suckering from the tips of shoots where they meet ground), totally pink (Coralberry) or whether they are only pink where the sun impacts upon their surface (Doorenbos' Coralberry or Chenault's Coralberry. Other slight differences exist such as whether the undersides of the leaves are slightly hairy, or sparsely hairy. And this ignores the apparently absent fifth species said to be responsible for the emergence of Doorenbos' Coralberry, namely Symphoricarpos microphyllus.

The leaf size, however, varies between species: Snowberry has the longest leaves [2-6mm (8mm)], Chenault's Coralberry medium sized leaves [2 - 2.5cm long] and Coralberry the shortest leaves [1-2cm long].

Needless to say, more species exist in the rest of the World, but are absent from the UK. However the elusive S. microphyllus species is not listed in Wikipedia  Symphoricarpos (as of 9th Dec 2012).

As with other Symphoricarpos species the berries are poisonous and contain the Protopine IsoQuinoline alkaloid Chelidonine and other alkaloids. Ingesting the berries results in mild poisoning, the symptoms being vomiting, dizziness and slight drowsiness.


  Symphoricarpos × chenaultii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caprifoliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Honeysuckle family8Caprifoliaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Symphoricarpos
Symphoricarpos
(Snowberries)

CHENAULT'S CORALBERRY

PINK SNOWBERRY, HYBRID CORALBERRY

Symphoricarpos × chenaultii

Honeysuckle Family [Caprifoliaceae]