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Amelanchier lamarckii - F.G.Schroed.                
                 
Common Name Apple Serviceberry
Family Rosaceae
Synonyms A. canadensis. non (L.)Medik. A. botryapium. A. grandiflora. Franco. non Rehd. Crataegus racemosa
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Possibly no longer found in its original wild habitat, it is naturalized in S. England on sandy heaths and damp acid woods[11, 184].
Range N. America. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Amelanchier lamarckii is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 4 m (13ft).
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, 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.


USDA hardiness zone : 3-3


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Amelanchier lamarckii Apple Serviceberry


(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Amelanchier lamarckii Apple Serviceberry
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Edible fruit - raw or cooked[11]. Sweet and succulent with a flavour of apples[177], they can also be dried for later use[183]. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, they can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[K]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226]. It is up to 10mm in diameter[200].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
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[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid or neutral soil. Hardy to about -25°c[184]. This species does not produce suckers[184]. 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. 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[K]. This species is worthy of special attention because of the quality of its fruit. It was formerly cultivated for these fruits and there are some named varieties[183]. The fruit is freely produced in Britain[184]. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. canadensis and A. laevis, see [11] for the latest (1991) classification. Some botanists consider this species to be a natural hybrid A. canadensis x A. laevis. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing[1].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
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[78, 80]. 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[78]. 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.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
F.G.Schroed.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
mootube Fri Feb 9 2007
It's impossible to be dissapointed with 'Ballerina'. Of the 150 or so alt fruit plants I've gathered so far, it has shined as the best performer in every way. My 6ft branched whip was bought online from The Agroforestry Research Trust and came topped. In early spring, numerous small branchlets appeared on the existing branches which all produced an exceptional display of crisp white flowers, followed by about 50 showy berries up to 1cm accross with pastel red and purple colours. Birds don't tend to visit this part of the garden and the fruit stayed on the tree until picked so I can't really tell if birds would have stripped the tree or not. I bought it solely for it's fruiting qualities but the word ornamental doesn't give 'Ballerina' credit. My slight regret is that it wasn't planted as more of a centrepiece. I also hope it keeps it's present size and form, considering the potential dimensions of the tree. This year, more branchlets are starting to appear in the same way so I'm anticipating a much denser show of the remarkable flowers and many more berries. I highly recommend this plant and The Agroforestry Research Trust.
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Sun Feb 11 2007
I was very interested in mootube's post about the cultivar 'Ballerina'. We have grown it for a number of years on our trial grounds in Cornwall and, to be honest, it has not done very well with us. The crop has always been disappointing. I wonder what part of the country Mootube is in (I assume it is in the UK). It has been my experience that many of the plants that grow well in the west of the country do not do so well in the east, and vice versa. With us, our most productive Juneberry has been Amelanchier stolonifera which has an absolutely huge crop of large tasty fruits, though the mother plant we obtained a sucker from hardly ever fruits where it grows in the London suburbs. Amelanchier alnifolia also usually does well with us, though it fruits much more heavily in my Mother's garden in west London.
Elizabeth H.
mootube Mon Feb 12 2007
Hi Ken! I'm from south Wales, living in quite an elevated village that has panoramic views of Somerset through to west Wales, Swansea, the valleys and over Cardiff. We get mild, quite constant costal winds and it's bordering on UK zone 9 - 8b. I thought my first sentence may be a bit bold and generalising when I wrote it but it's certainly the case with my tree. In hindsight though, I think it's success can be attributed to a few favourable circumstances:- The tree is in a south facing position but also has a bit of competition for sunlight in the cooler months from a larger tree to the south of it. This can sometimes promote growth but I dont think that's the reason it did so well last year. It's dormancy was broken indoors in January before planting out. I was quite worried at the time so got some good advice about it. http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1539 The hole dug for it was well lined with an organic leaf mix I'd made (my attempt at emulating peat) in otherwise slightly alkaline soil. It was given light fertilizer through February and March and these seemed to work very well. With the head start and favorable soil conditions, 'ballerina' in particular really thrived, leafing and flowering before April and fruiting before June and gave a prolonged flower and berry display from late winter, through spring and well in to summer. We picked most of the berries when they started to fall in I think, August through necessity. I think the main factor for the lateral growth and large fruit set would have been that it was topped. Although I'm sure it was done to keep the delivery of plants at a certain size, it had a very positive effect with this plant, the existing branches staying around 2ft but numerous new branches appearing then flowering. It has broken dormancy very early again this year too with the same type of growth. Thanks for the advice about Amelanchier stolonifera which I haven't seen yet but will keep an eye out for. I also have A. Alnifolia and several A. Canadensis but they're very small which is one reason I would recommend The Agroforestry Research Trust. I've bought very healthy plants there that have had a high success rate. One last thing. Apologies for using so much of PFAF's bandwidth over the last year or two, I'll buy the disk one day and leave you in relative peace. =) Thanks a million Ken & PFAF.
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