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Amelanchier spicata

Amelanchier spicata - garden shadblow

amelanchier_spicatum_jreinikainen.jpg

Garden shadblow is not known in the wild, but only as a garden plant and escapee in northern Europe. It is thought to be a form or cross of the North American running service berry (Amelanchier stolonifera), and was earlier called Amelanchier botryapium. Garden shadblow has a rather special habit: tall, erect stems in dense thickets. Because it produces only short runners, this method of spreading is not uncontrollable. However, birds love the berries and have spread the seeds, for example to forested ridges or the forest edges, creating a headache for environment officials.

The leaves are about the size of a matchbox, finely toothed, hairy at first, with a short apex. The white flowers are in erect clusters and when in flower the whole shrub seems to have been splashed with whipped cream. The berries ripen from reddish to blue-black. Though edible, they are less tasty than those of the related Saskatoon service berry (A. alnifolia) and Allegheny service berry (A. laevis)

The garden shadblow is the most frequently planted of the service berries in Finland, but at Mustila is quite rare.

 

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