A trailing plant with stems to 3 m long; shoots grey, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; older bark shredding. Leaves oval, 10–30 × 5–20 mm, widest near or below the middle and tapered at each end; upper surface nearly glabrous, lower surface prominently reticulate with hairs under the veins and around the margin; petiole 1–2 mm, sparsely hairy. Flowers 2–5 in terminal racemes 2–5 mm long; bracts linear-lanceolate, bractlets ovate and ciliate; calyx nearly regularly 5-toothed with the teeth ovate and 1 mm long; corolla pink, bell-shaped, nearly symmetrical and scarcely gibbous at the base, 3–5 mm long, the lobes about as long as the tube and sparsely hairy at the base. Stamens equally the corolla in length; anthers 1 mm long, slightly shorter than the filament; style glabrous, as long as the corolla-tube; fruit white, 5–6 mm wide; nutlets smooth, 2.5–3 × 1.5–2 mm. (Jones 1940).
Distribution Canada British Columbia Mexico Baja California United States California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Habitat Gravelly slopes at low elevations, often under conifers.
USDA Hardiness Zone 6
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
Conservation status Not evaluated (NE)
Symphoricarpus hesperius was one of several taxa first described by G. Neville Jones in his 1940 monograph on the genus (Jones 1940); it is generally considered a good species, differing from the coastal S. mollis and the higher-altitude S. acutus in details of leaf-shape and pubescence. It is sold in the United States by the (Portland Nursery).