Herbs & Plants

Amelanchier laevis

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Botanical Name: Amelanchier laevis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species: A. laevis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Amelanchier canadensis. non (L.)Medik.Amelanchier confusa.

Common Name : Allegheny Shadberry, Allegheny serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry
Habitat: Amelanchier laevis is native to eastern Canada and the eastern United States, from Newfoundland west to Ontario, Minnesota, and Iowa, south as far as Georgia and Alabama.It grows on dry to moist thickets, woodland edges and edges of swamps in cool ravines and on hillsides. Naturalized in Britain on light acidic soils.
Amelanchier laevis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 9 m (29ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. It has stems of 1–15 metres (3 ft 3 in–49 ft 3 in) or 2–17 metres (6 ft 7 in–55 ft 9 in) which are growing in small clumps. Its petioles are 12–25 millimetres (0.47–0.98 in) with green blades which are elliptic and almost ovate. The leaves have 12–17 lateral veins and 6-8 teeth per cm. The fruit, which are pomes, are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit has a sweet flavor. The bark can be made into a herbal medicine for expectant mothers. It is a deciduous tree. It is cultivated as an ornamental shrub.


The leaves are simple, alternate and regularly toothed and are often bronze in color, especially when young. They may be somewhat pubescent beneath when young, but become glabrous at maturity. The buds are relatively large (up to 10-12 mm) and long tapering to a sharp tip and each bud has more than 2 visible outer scales, often at least partly reddish. The plants may develop a single trunk, but they are almost always multiply-stemmed from the base, with well-developed plants reaching 20-30 feet in height or more, therefore appearing as a small tree or a very tall shrub. The bark is smooth and gray, and the trunks are often less than 10 cm in diameter. The flowers are showy with bright white petals opening in May or early June and producing numerous red or purple fleshy fruits.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200] but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Found in the wild on light acidic soils. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals, this species is worthy of especial attention because of the quality of its fruit. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. Trees come into bearing in about 12 years from seed. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. canadensis and A. lamarckii, see for the latest (1991) classification. It hybridizes with A. sanguinea, A. huronensis, A. wiegandii, A. stolonifera, A. canadensis, A. arborea and A. bartramiana. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required
Edible Uses:
Edible fruit – raw or cooked. Succulent and sweet. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, it can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[K]. The fruit can also be dried for winter use. Up to 18mm in diameter. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.
Medicinal Uses:.…..Miscellany…….An infusion of the bark was used by expectant mothers.

Other Uses:
 Landscape Uses:Firewood, Specimen, Woodland gardenWood – is heavy, exceedingly hard, strong, close grained. Used for tool handles etc

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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