Amelanchier (Serviceberry)



Amelanchier (serviceberry, shadbush, saskatoon, shadblow, shadwood, sarvisberry, juneberry, sugarplum, chuckley pear, and wild-plum) is a genus of flowering shrubs and small deciduous trees in the family Rosaceae. It is native to temperate regions of Northern Hemisphere, in northern United States and southern Canada. It is native to every states of United States except in Hawaii, and two species occur in Asia and one in Europe.

Amelanchier species can grow from 0.2 m to 20 m tall, forming loose colonies, or dense clumps to single-stemmed. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, simple, lanceolate to elliptic. The terminal inflorescence is erect or drooping, with 1-20 flowers borne in clusters of one to four flowers. The flowerscan also come in racemes of 4-20 flowers. The five-petaled white flowers are produced in early spring. Serviceberry is a berry-like pome, 5-15 mm in diameter, and is red to purple to nearly black at maturity. The berry is insipid to delectably sweet, and normally mature in summer.

Amelanchier species are an important food source to wildlife and are preferred browse for deer and rabbits. They are also a favorite to caterpillars of Lepidoptera species, such as Brimstone Moth, Brown Tail, Grey Dagger, Mottled Umber, Rough Prominent and other herbivorous insects. Serviceberries of some species of Amelanchier are excellent to eaten fresh, with taste that resemble of a blueberry, strongly accented by the almond-like flavor of the seeds. The berries are harvested locally for pies and jams.

Several species of Amelanchier are good ornamental shrubs, growing for their flowers, bark, and foliage color in autumn. Amelanchier grows well in well-drained soil, watering during drought. Propagation is by seed, division and grafting. Trunk borer and Gymnosporangium rust are the pest and disease that affect the genus Amelanchier.

Western ServiceberriesWestern Serviceberries
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amelanchier_alnifolia_6346.JPG
authorshipWalter Siegmund
photo licensing

Western ServiceberriesWestern Serviceberries
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amelanchier_alnifolia_6335.JPG
authorshipWalter Siegmund
photo licensing

Western ServiceberriesWestern Serviceberries
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amelanchier_alnifolia_2807.JPG
authorshipWalter Siegmund
photo licensing

ServiceberriesServiceberries
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Felsenbirne_frucht.JPG
authorshipPatrick Buergler
photo licensing

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