Symphoricarpos × doorenbosii 'Kordes' AMETHYST
Common Name: coral berry 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Best flowering and fruiting in full sun. Prune as needed in late winter to early spring. Plants tend to sucker.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symphoricarpos × doorenbosii, commonly known as Doorenbos coralberry, is a hybrid, thicket-forming shrub which typically matures to 6’ tall. Parents are S. albus var. laevigatus, S. orbiculatus, and S. × chenaultii. Cultivars of this hybrid are sometimes listed as Dorenboos Group members. Dark green leaves appear on downy stems. Bell-shaped, pink to white flowers bloom in clusters in late spring of followed by showy white berries (each to 1/2” diameter) which are usually flushed pink on the side where each berry is exposed to direct sun.

Genus name comes from the Greek symphorein meaning bear together and karpos meaning fruit in reference to the fruits appearing in clusters.

Hybrid and common name are in reference to Dutch horticulturist G. A. Doorenbos who helped develop these hybrids in the 1940s.

‘Kordes’, commonly sold under the trade name of AMETHYST, originated in Germany. It typically grows to 3-5’ tall and as wide. Tiny, greenish-white flowers in short racemes appear in early summer, but are somewhat ornamentally insignificant. This cultivar is particularly noted for the abundant production and vivid color of its globose, deep purple-pink (some say hot pink) berries (each to 1/2” diameter) which ripen in clusters in September, typically persisting on the shrub into late fall or winter. Notwithstanding the trade name reference to amethyst berry color for this cultivar, the berries sometimes appear much paler (almost white). Berries are particularly noticeable on the shrubs after leaf drop. Elliptic to broad-ovate leaves (to 1 1/2” long) are dark green.


No serious insect or disease problem. Anthracnose, powdery mildew or scale may appear. Watch for aphids.


Shrub border, screen or hedge. Foundations. Naturalize in open woodland areas. Because of suckering habit, plants may be useful on slopes or banks.