Symphoricarpos occidentalis (Buckbrush) - photos and description

Symphoricarpos occidentalis
15 cm ruler for scale

Symphoricarpos occidentalis

Symphoricarpos occidentalis


Flowers are either in bud or open, no half open flowers resembling flowers of Symphoricarpus albus.

Symphoricarpos occidentalis

Symphoricarpos occidentalis
Style and stamens protrude beyond corolla in this species.


Petals pulled off flower, style is hairy.

General: Low shrubs with an upright, bushy growth habit. Rhizomatous usually found in large colonies. Plants have very short hairs on new green stem growth.

Flowers: Flowers are pinkish-white, tubular, 1 cm long, grow in dense axillary spikes. Style and stamens protrude beyond the petals, style is hairy.

Leaves: Leaves opposite, ovate, waxy. We measured a leaf at 3 cm long (including petiole), and 17 mm wide. Leaves bluish-green in colour.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm. We measured plants to 57 cm tall. 

Habitat: Open prairie, ravines, coulees, woodlands.

Abundance: Very common.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There are two species of Symphoricarpos native to Saskatchewan:

- Symphoricarpos albus, has stamens and styles which do not protrude from the corolla, and has a glabrous style. 

- Symphoricarpos occidentalis has stamens and styles which protrude from the corolla, and has a hairy style.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos, July 1st prairie on edge of aspen woods, about 60 km east of Regina, SK, and, July 11th, sandy prairie, Douglas Provincial Park, about 250 km north west of our home in Regina, SK.