downy serviceberry

(Amelanchier arborea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

downy serviceberry

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common in eastern North America west to the St. Croix Valley of Minnesota.

Photo by Bill Reynolds
Habitat

Dry. Upland woods, open forests, swamp edges. Full to partial sun.

 
Flowering

Late April to late May

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

10 to 25

     

Identification

This is a tall shrub or small tree. In Minnesota it is usually 10 to 25 tall. It is sometimes much taller but rarely more than 40 tall and rarely less than 6½ tall. It rises on multiple upright stems. When it is single stemmed, the stem is usually up to 3 in diameter. It does not spread by underground stems (rhizomes). The crown is usually taller than wide.

The bark is thin, smooth, and gray when young, developing shallow, vertical furrows and flat ridges with age.

First year branchlets are slender, greenish, flexible, and usually hairy. In the second year they are brown to reddish-brown and hairless with a few scattered, light-colored lenticels. Terminal buds are up to ½ long with a long point. They are light yellowish-green to greenish-red and have a fringe of hairs on the margins. Lateral buds often hook slightly around the twig.

The leaves are alternate, egg-shaped to elliptical, 1½ to 3 long, and 1 to 2 wide. They are on slender, light green, to1¼ long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are hairy, especially in the spring but also at maturity. The leaf blades are rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip. The upper surface is dark green, dull, and hairless or almost hairless. The lower surface is pale green and is densely covered with white hairs when young, becoming less hairy but retaining at least hairs along the midrib at maturity. The margins are finely and closely toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth. Larger leaves have 25 to 45 teeth per side. The toothed part of the margin extends nearly to the rounded base.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, 1½ to 3 long cluster (raceme) of 5 to 12 flowers at the end of the stems and branches. The flowers appear from late April to late May when the leaves are just starting to unfold. Each flower is on a hairy flower stalk (pedicel). The lower pedicels are 3 16to 1long.

The flowers have both male and female reproductive parts. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 20 stamens, and 5 styles. The sepals are green, triangular, hairy, bent backwards, and short, to 3 16 long. The petals are white, narrowly egg-shaped to narrowly oblong, and 7 16 to long. They are at least 2 times longer than wide. The ovary is hairless at the top. The flowers are mildly fragrant.

The fruit is a more or less globe-shaped, 5 16 to ½ in diameter, pome with 4 to 10 seeds. They are green at first, becoming red, then purplish-black at maturity. It is somewhat dry and mostly tasteless.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Rosaceae (rose)

 

Subfamily:

Amygdaloideae

 

Tribe:

Maleae

 

Subtribe:

Malinae

 
Synonyms

Amelanchier arborea var. arborea

Amelanchier arborea var. alabamensis

Mespilus arborea

Amelanchier alabamensis

 
Common
Names

Allegheny serviceberry

apple shadbush

common serviceberry

downy Juneberry

downy serviceberry

downy shadbush

juneberry

shadblow

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

pome

A fruit with a central seed bearing core enclosed in thick flesh, e.g., an apple or pear.

 

raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       

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Bill Reynolds


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