Allegheny Shadberry (Amelanchier laevis)

Shrub
A. canadensis. non (L.)Medik. A. confusa.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Allegheny Shadberry
Amelanchier laevis
Rosaceae

Wood – heavy, exceedingly hard, strong, close grained. Used for tool handles etc[82].

  • Medicinal Use

    An infusion of the bark was used by expectant mothers[257].

  • Edible Use

    Edible fruit – raw or cooked[2, 11, 105, 159]. Succulent and sweet[82, 183]. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, it can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[K]. The fruit can also be dried for winter use[183]. Up to 18mm in diameter[200]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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[78, 80]. 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[78]. 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.
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200] but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Found in the wild on light acidic soils[17]. 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, this species is worthy of especial attention because of the quality of its fruit. 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[K]. Trees come into bearing in about 12 years from seed[98]. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. canadensis and A. lamarckii, see [11] for the latest (1991) classification. It hybridizes with A. sanguinea, A. huronensis, A. wiegandii, A. stolonifera, A. canadensis, A. arborea and A. bartramiana. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing[1].
Eastern N. America. Naturalized in Britain.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.