June 2, 2010

6 things to do with Amelanchier

Amelanchiers or serviceberries grow as shrubs or small trees and are part of the rose family (Rosaceae). Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry) is native to the Eastern United States. Amelanchier canadensis, and A. x grandiflora, a hybrid of A. arborea and A. laevis (Alleghany serviceberry) are planted as street trees. Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry) is an approved NYC street tree. As part of the city's Sidewalk Arboreta program, Canadian serviceberries have been labelled at Asser Levy (Manhattan) and at Queensboro Hall (Queens).

This Amelanchier is located on LaGuardia Place at 4th Street.  (Eat Street Trees!).
  1. Plant it
  2. Eat it (berries)
    • Used in jams and pies; good raw, too 
    • An ingredient in pemmican, a Native American food 
    • Wildlife forage 
      • Song birds* (A. arborea, A. canadensis)
      • Bees** (A. canadensis, A. laevis)
      • Gypsy moth*** (A. arborea)
      • Also eaten by “raccoons, opossums, foxes, bears and even bobcats” (A. arborea, canadensis, and laevis)
  3. "Force" it (for instructions, read Carol Stocker's Want blooms? Just use gentle persuasion Boston Globe article)
  4. Smell it (fragant flowers)
  5. Admire it (seasonal interest – read more at Flatbush Gardener)
  6. Go fish (also known as shadbush because flowers at the same time that shad spawn)
*, ** Wildlife Gardens Species List (NYC Parks & Recreation Department)
*** Amelanchier arborea species information (US Forest Service)

3 comments:

  1. We had one at work last year that was loaded with fruit. I was constantly fighting off a mockingbird to get my share.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The fruit is so, well, fruity; I can taste it in a jam. There are several trees in the neighborhood. I ate from the one pictured above.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As much as I tout the Amelanchier, I had no idea the flower was fragrant. Thanks for teaching me something!

    LN

    (Posted on behalf of Ellen Zachos of Garden Bytes from the Big Apple)

    ReplyDelete

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