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Juneberry - Amelanchier spp


Juneberry (Amelanchier spp) ripening on the tree

Edible plant - novice Season - summer Common names Juneberry, serivceberry, saskatoon, shadberry, shadbush, shadblow, sarvis, sugarplum


Scientific name meaning: The origin of Amelanchier is believed to originate from a French colloquial name for a species of this tree

Habitat

Habitat of Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

Juneberry (Amelanchier spp) is an introduced tree, native to North America, and can be found in gardens, parks and arboretums. It has naturalised and can also be found in woodland, hedgerows, wasteground, heathland and sandy soils.

Overall structure

Juneberry (Amelanchier spp) overall structure

Thin trunked, with silver-grey bark the juneberry can reach 13m tall. Very twiggy, thin branches.

Leaves

The leaves of Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

The toothed leaves are oval shaped, with hairs at first losing them with age except on the stem. Starting off coppery and opening to bright-green in spring, they slowly take on pinkish tones throughout the summer before turning orange and eventually deep purple-red in autumn.

Trunk

The trunk of Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

The silver grey trunk is rather thin and in some species displays suckering. It can twist as it ages and often has spiralled or criss-cross ridges as it matures.

Flower

The flower of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

The spring flowers have five white long, thin petals. The five sepals can be seen through them. The inflorescence is a raceme.

Fruit

The fruit of Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

Ripening in June, as the common name suggests, the berries, which are actually pomes, start turning pink in early June and end up a deep burgundy by late June. They are a member of the rose family, so the sepals remain at the bottom of the fruit.

Possible lookalikes

Crab apples on a tree

Has a strong resemblance to some of the smaller crab apples (Malus spp) but these are edible, though would be very bitter in their raw form.


Use as a food The berries can be eaten raw when ripe. They are very sweet, particularly when they have darkened in colour. Getting to them before the birds can be a challenge Hazards None known at time of writing


Use in herbal medicine and medicine None known at time of writing If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner Other uses Garden ornamental Importance to other species Provides a valuable nectar source for pollinators, and food source for birds.


Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!






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