Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon Serviceberry)
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Plant Description: A small tree/shrub with deep green foliage and striking white flowers in April and May. Its growth form is typically multi-stemmed, forming dense thickets that slowly spread by rhizomes or rooting branch ends. It is also known to resemble a small single or multi-stemmed tree with smooth brown bark. It finishes with great fall color, with leaves turning red, orange or yellow.
This plant has both edible and medicinal properties. The 1/4 inch edible berries that follow the flowers of this plant start out red, and mature to black-blue. The berries are soft and juicy with a few small seeds in the center. Though it is little used in modern herbalism, this plant was traditionally used by Indigenous communities to treat a wide variety of minor issues, such as upset stomachs. *CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL FOR MEDICAL USE. NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*
- Height: 3-15ft
- Width: 5ft
- Watering needs: moderate
- Sun needs: full sun to part shade
- Soil needs: moist to dry, well-drained
- Bloom Time: April-May
- Ripening Time: Midsummer
Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This Willamette Valley native is adaptable to most soil types and locations from sea level to sub alpine elevations, including rocky bluffs and shorelines to open woods, meadows, and thickets.
This is an excellent plant for food forests, woodland and rain gardens, and conventional or ornamental gardens. The berries provide food for mammals and birds, and the dense growth provides shelter. The plant also attracts pollinators.
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