Coralberry is a rather small sprawling shrub with attractive foliage and berries. It is an easy shrub to identify in natural areas, particularly during the fall, because of the purplish red berries. Other Symphoricarpos spp.
(Snowberry, Wolfberry) in Illinois have white or greenish white berries. A related group of plants, Lonicera spp.
(Honeysuckles), are either vines or upright shrubs. Like Coralberry, Honeysuckles often produce berries in clusters near the leaves, but their berries are usually bright red and more juicy. Generally, the corollas of Honeysuckle flowers are larger in size than those of Coralberry, and they have long slender lobes. All of these plants produce pairs of opposite leaves on woody stems; the margins of their leaves are smooth or slightly wavy, but they never have teeth, unlike the leaves of many other shrubs. Another common name of Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
is Buckbrush, which refers to the attractiveness of this shrub to deer as a food plant.