With the exclusion of the Chinese snowberry, Symphoricarpos sinensis, which is native to western China, all species are native to Central and North America.
The genus name is an ancient Greek word derived from sumphoreîn, which means “to bear together“, and (karpós), which means “fruit“. It refers to the very compact berry grapes that the species produces.
Snowberry leaves are 1.5 to 5 cm (0.59 to 1.97 inches) long, rounded, with entire margins, or 1 or 2 lobes at the underside. The flowers are small, pink to greenish –white, in most species in small clusters of 5 to 15 together, in some individually or in pairs (e.g., Symphoricarpos microphyllus).