The origin of this species is not known for certain. It was first described from a cultivated plant in France which was believed to have originated in eastern Canada. However, that species is no longer found there and so the plant is only known in cultivation, or as an escape in parts of Europe where it has become naturalized[
Some botanists consider this species to be a natural hybrid between Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier laevis[
Amelanchier canadensis auct.
Amelanchier canadensis K.Koch
Amelanchier canadensis confusa auct.
Amelanchier confusa Dandy
Amelanchier confusa Schmeil & Fitschen
Amelanchier grandiflora auct.
Amelanchier laevis Clapham, Tutin & E.F.Warb.
Common Name: Apple Serviceberry
Amelanchier lamarckii is a deciduous shrub or tree that can grow up to 9 metres tall. Usually suckering to produce a dense clump of stems, some forms grown in gardens have a single stem and a tree-form[
The plant has a very tasty fruit which is often harvested from cultivated and naturalized plants. An ornamental plant, it is grown in gardens for its floral display, the autumn colour of its leaves, and for its edible fruits, which attract birds to the garden[
Originally from Eastern N. America, but no longer found there. It is cultivated and also naturalized in western Europe.
Possibly no longer found in its original wild habitat, it is naturalized in S. England on sandy heaths and in damp acid woods[
Hardy to about -25°c[
]. This species does not produce suckers[
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[
] but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid or neutral soil.
All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe[
This species is worthy of special attention because of the quality of its fruit. It has at times been cultivated for these fruits and there are some named varieties[
]. The fruit is freely produced in Britain[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
]. Grafting onto seedlings of Amelanchier lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing[
Edible fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Sweet and succulent with a flavour of apples[
], they can also be dried for later use[
]. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, they can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[
]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[
]. It is up to 10mm in diameter[
The plant is sometimes used as a rootstock for growing specific forms of other Amelanchier species[
The following is a general description of the wood obtained from members of this genus:-
The heartwood is brown or reddish brown, it is usually absent from small specimens; the thick band of sapwood is slightly brownish. The texture is fine and uniform; the grain straight to irregular; lustre is medium; odour and taste are absent or not distinctive. The wood is hard, heavy, compact, tough, and strong, where formed the dark heartwood is durable. The appearance of the wood is usually marred by numerous brown lines (pith flecks). The wood is easily worked, taking a good polish. When of sufficient sice the wood is used locally for purposes such as tool handles and other small items - it is of no commercial interest, however, because of its scarcity and the small size of the plants[
Seed - it is best harvested 'green', when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall.
If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed[
]. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter.
Layering in spring - takes 18 months[
Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.