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Plant Description


Amelanchier laevis Wiegand

En: smooth serviceberry, smooth chuckleypear (NL), Allegheny serviceberry, smooth shadbush, smooth Juneberry, Allegheny shadblow
Fr: amélanchier glabre, petites poires
Oj: bzagwaakminak, bgesaan, zazigaakominagaawamzh, gozigwaakominagaawanzh, ozagadigom

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Amelanchier laevisshr Amelanchier laevisflpl Amelanchier laevislvs Amelanchier laevisflw Amelanchier laevisill


General: An erect, deciduous shrub, to 10 m tall. Bark of young stems smooth (glabrous), gray, marked with darker, vertical stripes; becoming furrowed with age. Twigs reddish-brown, slender, buds 9–17 mm long, lanceolate, pointed (acuminate), the several overlapping (imbricate), greenish to dark red scales are fringed with fine hairs.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, smooth (glabrous), petiolate. Leaf blade lanceolate-elliptic to ovate, 3–8 cm long; emerging leaves bronze to heavily tinged with red, dark green when mature; leaf base rounded, apex pointed to sharply pointed (acute to acuminate), margins finely toothed (serrulate), mature leaves with 6–10 teeth per cm; petioles 1–3 cm long, glabrous.

Flowers: Bisexual, arranged in open racemes, to 10 cm long, flower stalks (pedicels) smooth (glabrous). Calyx lobes 5, green, triangular, reflexed, borne at the margin of an open, cup-shaped hypanthium; petals 5, white, oblanceolate, 1–2 cm long; stamens 20, attached at the top of the hypanthium; pistil 1, the top of the superior ovary smooth (glabrous); the outer hypanthium and calyx lobes bearing fine white hairs. Flowers bloom in early spring as the leaves are emerging.

Fruit: Thickets, clearings, borders of mixedwood and coniferous forests. Amelanchier laevis is an eastern North American species that extend across the lower half of northern Ontario.

Similar Species: The similar downy Juneberry (Amelanchier arborea), found in northeastern and southern Ontario, has oval to ovate leaves with rounded to slightly cordate bases; emerging leaves are green and densely hairy beneath; some hairs are retained on mature leaves and petioles; buds are 6–13 mm long; the lowest fruiting stalks (pedicels) reach 1.7 cm long, and the fruits are dry and not sweet.

Compare the Amelanchier laevis and Amelanchier arborea webpages from the Trees of Wisconsin website. Click on the smaller images to view larger, more detailed photos.

The red-twigged serviceberry, Amelanchier sanguinea, can be distinguished from other arborescent Amelanchier species by its reddish twigs and hairy ovaries.

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