Utah Serviceberry (Amelanchier utahensis)

Shrub
A. prunifolia. A. rubescens.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Utah Serviceberry
Amelanchier utahensis
Rosaceae

Wood – heavy, hard and strong. The hardness of the wood makes it suitable for use as the spindle of a fire drill[257]. Trees are seldom large enough to be of commercial interest[229]. The wood has been used to make the rims of baskets[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    An infusion of the inner bark is used to treat snow-blindness[172].

    The plant has been used to ease childbirth during labour and delivery[257].

  • Edible Use

    Edible fruit, raw or cooked[105, 172, 229, 257]. The fruit can also be dried and used as a raisin substitute[177, 183]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226]. It is produced in small clusters and is about 10mm in diameter[200].

  • 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[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates dry soils[200]. 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]. This species is closely related to A. alnifolia[11]. 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].
South-western N. America – Utah to New Mexico.

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.