Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

Shrub
A. oblongifolia. Mespilus canadensis.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Juneberry
Amelanchier canadensis
Rosaceae

This species can be used as a dwarfing rootstock for Malus spp. (the apples) and Pyrus spp. (the pears)[160].

Plants can be grown as an informal hedge[200]. Any trimming is best done after flowering[200]. A fairly wind-tolerant species, it can be used to give protection from the wind as part of a mixed shelterbelt[200].

Wood – hard, strong, close grained. Used for tool handles, small implements etc[46, 61].

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the root bark (mixed with other unspecified herbs) was used as a tonic in the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding and also to treat diarrhoea[222, 257]. A bath of the bark tea was used on children with worms[222, 257]. An infusion of the root was used to prevent miscarriage after an injury[257].

    A compound concoction of the inner bark was used as a disinfectant wash[257].

  • Edible Use

    Edible fruit – raw or cooked[3, 55, 101, 159]. The fruit contains a few small seeds at the centre, it has a sweet flavour with a hint of apple[1, 2]. It can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc or dried and used like raisins[183]. We have found the fruit to be of variable quality, with some forms having a distinct bitterness in the flavour whilst others are sweet, juicy and delicious[K]. When the fruit is thoroughly cooked in puddings or pies the seed imparts an almond flavour to the food[183]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226]. It is about 10mm in diameter[200]. Trees can yield 7 to 15 tonnes per hectare[160].

  • 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 water-logged, too dry or poor[11], though it is more wet-tolerant than other members of this genus[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid soil[17, 43]. Trees produce more and better quality fruits better when growing in a sunny position[1]. 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[K]. There is at least one named variety of this species with superior fruits. ‘Prince William’ is a large multi-stemmed shrub to 3 metres tall and 2 metres across[183, 200]. It crops heavily and its good quality fruit is about 12mm in diameter[183]. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. laevis and A. lamarckii, see [11] for the most recent (1991) classification. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. 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 – Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to Florida. Naturalized in Britain[17].

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.