These North American native plants are partial to swamps, marshes, and bogs
in cedar and spruce forests, in shaded locations. Snowberry’s range is restricted to
the northern US and Canada, though it was previously found further south.
Plants: These are dense, creeping vines rarely more than an inch in
height, with flowers or berries scattered thinly, often nestled on or near sphagnum moss.
Vines are woody, with scaly hairs. The vines develop new roots, producing large mats over time.
Leaves: Evergreen, alternate, entire, elliptical to nearly round.
Each leaf is ¼-⁵/₁₆" (6.3-8.4 mm) × ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) wide, with smooth edges often sprouting tiny
hairs. Leaf undersides are covered with brown bristles.
Flowers: Pale, greenish-white flowers are four-parted, bell-shaped,
and about ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size.
They appear from May to June.
Fruits: White, egg-shaped or nearly rounded berries are about ¼" (6.3 mm)
around. If you look closely, you'll notice they are covered with thinly scattered short brown hairs. Berries appear
from August to September.
Edibility: Creeping snowberry is related to wintergreen,
and the leaves and fruits have a mild wintergreen flavor, used by tribes as a preserve or tea.
Fruit and leaves are both edible. Berries can be eaten fresh, with cream and sugar.