Tuesday, June 15, 2010

100 Species Challenge #70

Specimen #70 Serviceberry
Amelanchier arborea
AKA Shadbush, Juneberry, Saskatoon

The fruit has a crown colored the same as the fruit. It has no poisonous look-alike. When I saw Kay write that she had Juneberries, I remembered that my youngest and I had tasted the juice of what could have been the same thing the day before. And two days prior to that, I sat on my SIL's deck trying to figure out what red berries the birds in her backyard were eating across the fence at the neighbors. I think it had to be Juneberries. 

Off to research. Yes, I had been seeing Serviceberry trees.

I read that Serviceberry was the tree's name because the flowers of the tree emerge around the time of Easter services. And that Shadbush was its other name because it bloomed during the shad's migration upstream. (see Wildman Steve Brill) Juneberry came because the berries come in June. But Saskatoon? I have no idea about its origins.

On my bike ride home from picking our Serviceberries (which were baked into muffins), I detoured onto a neighboring street and counted four of these trees in front yards. All with birds feasting on the berries. My oldest and I find these fruits much easier to harvest than mulberries. 

The tree is pretty 'undercover' if you ask us. The leaf is just a leaf -- not crazy-shiny, not a distinctly different color than other trees, etc. It's finely toothed and oval.

The tree is only distinguishable when it's in flower or fruit. It's in the center of the image. Not very special looking.


Jennifer Juniper said...

I just heard about serviceberries the other day - I think someone was saying they planted it to draw the birds away from their cherries or blueberries or something?

Alea said...

I need to spend a day going through your photos to see if I can put names to the plants that were already on our property when we moved here!