Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Amelanchier canadensis (L.) Medik.
ROSACEAE (Rose Family)
EtymologyAmelanchier is the old French name for Amelanchier ovalis, applied to the entire genus; canadensis is Latin for from or of Canada.
Synonyms (Common Name)Thicket Serviceberry, Eastern Serviceberry,Eastern Shadbush, Canada Serviceberry, Canada Shadbush, Juneberry, Shad-blow
DescriptionAmelanchier is a genus of deciduous, broad-leaved, small trees or shrubs that is rife with hybridization and a challenge to identify to species. Several species bloom in early to midspring around the time of the spawning runs of shad fish, hence the name "shadbush" in New England. Thicket shadbush is a bushy shrub that grows in clumps 6-16' tall or as a small tree less than 20' high; it is featured here because it occurs throughout southern New England in moist woods and forested swamps and shores -- not because its identification is any easier. Other species are mentioned below.
Wetland indicator statusFAC
Plant Height6-16 feet
LeavesDeciduous, broad-leaved, alternate, simple, finely toothed, to 3 3/16" long; elliptical, elliptical-oblong to obovate-oblong; often tipped with an abrupt, small, sharp point; white-woolly, folded, and not fully developed at flowering time; smooth or nearly so when mature.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite, small (1/4-3/4"), 5 narrow petals, usually 20 stamens; in terminal, ascending racemes; open before or with the leaves.
Flowering PeriodApril-June
FruitBerry-like pome, black or dark purple, small (1/2"); 10-parted, 10-seeded; sweet, juicy, and edible.
Fruiting PeriodJune-August.
HabitatWooded swamps and thickets, moist woods, pond margins, stream banks.
RangeNewfoundland to Mississippi, usually on the coastal plain; inland to New Hampshire and New York.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett