University of Maryland Extension


Photo and text by Ginny Williams

Symplocos paniculata

Native to Asia, some consider sapphireberry to be one of the handsomest of fruiting shrubs. White fragrant flowers grow in panicles in spring, and bright blue to lapis berries are prolific in the fall until birds get them. Ten to twenty feet tall and wide, two must be planted in order to get good fruiting.  While berries are irresistible to birds, the seeds require double dormancy and have not proven invasive here but do seed near parent plants. Having virtually no insect or disease problems and not picky as to type of soil (preferring acid soil), it grows in full sun or part shade. Grow as a specimen tree or at the back of a shrub border. It transplants easily. 


Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.