Symplocos paniculata

Common Name: sapphire berry 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Symplocaceae
Native Range: Himilayas, eastern Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Plant in groups of three or more to insure acceptable level of cross-pollination and resultant fruit production. Flowers on previous year's growth, but light, late winter pruning is still recommended even though some of the flower buds will be removed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symplocos paniculata, commonly called sapphire berry, can be trained as a low-branching, small tree or as a multi-stemmed shrub. Deciduous. Typically grows 10-20' tall with a spreading habit. Features 2-3" long panicles of creamy white, fragrant flowers in late spring followed by clusters of sapphire-blue berries (1/3 long drupes) in fall. Ovate to obovate, finely toothed, dark green leaves (to 3" long). Birds are very attracted to the fruit. Also commonly called Asiatic sweetleaf.

Genus name comes from the Greek word symploke meaning combination as the stamens are variously united.

Specific epithet refers to the plant having flowers in panicles.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best in groups in the shrub border or bird garden. Also effective as an unpruned screen.