Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)
Coralberry is a 2-4’ tall sprawling deciduous shrub, native to Illinois, belonging to the Honeysuckle family Caprifoliaceae. It tends to re-establish itself and spread in the landscape through a woody branching taproot, and will often re-root where a node of a branch touches the ground. Coralberry has a dense growth habit, and provides great winter cover for birds and other small animals. The stems of the plant tend to be covered with strips of loose shaggy bark. It is very adaptable from shady to partially sunny areas, moist to dry locations, and in a wide range of soil types.
Flowering occurs during the summer, however it puts on its best show with clusters of pink or purplish fruit that persist during the winter months, which are a favorite food for Robins and Bobwhites. While it tends to be found most often in native woodland areas, it serves as a great landscape plant for massing. I can attest to its beauty, as our neighbor has an outstanding display of this plant in their yard, with spectacular color this time of year, that only intensifies with the first snowfall.