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SNOWY MESPIL

JUNEBERRY

Amelanchier lamarckii

Rose Family [Rosaceae]

Flowers:
month8apr month8april month8may

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZred berryZblack  (edible)
month8jun month8june berry8jul berry8july berry8aug berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct

category
category8Trees
category
category8Deciduous
category
category8Broadleaf
status
statusZalien
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
A short tree, growing up to only 5m high and covered in white flowers in spring but with initially bronzy leaves giving it a dirty-white look from a distance. (Wild Crab, which also belongs to the Rose family has similar looking white flowers, but is up to twice the height at 10m and has green leaves).


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The branches are not as convoluted as those of Wild Crab.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The leaves mainly hang downwards.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in small spikes of up to 8 flowers.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Petals white but very narrow.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Five white petalled, with a greenish inner.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The style pentafurcates part-way up, which helps distinguish it from all other non-Amelchier trees with otherwise similar flowers.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Sepal teeth long and thin and five in number.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Flower stems reddening.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Leaf stems also reddening. Leaves oblong, and droop downwards and in spring have a bronzy cast which disappears later in summer.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Leaves have short teeth projecting forwards.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Veins on leaves prominent at the rear with some long white hairs over part of the underside.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Leaves with forwardly directed short teeth, and a smattering of hairs on upper surface.


12th April 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The trunk, about 20cm diameter.


11th Nov 2012, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Silhoutte of winter leafless form.


17th June 2013, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Berries appear in June, green at first.


2nd July 2013, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Berries then turn red before ripening to black.


2nd July 2013, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Unfortunately, a week after this photograph was taken, the tree was chopped down before photos of the black berries could be taken!


Not to be confused semantically with : Medlar (Mespilus germanica), another short tree but slightly larger at up to 9m and belonging to the same Rose Family, this one producing a large fawn-coloured fruit 3cm across which is edible only when over-ripe and starting to rot.

Not to be confused either semantically or visually with : Snowy Mespilus aka Serviceberry) (Amelanchier ovalis [another tree with similar name and similar form belonging to the same Genus Amelanchier] but the leaves are folded hence stiffer and do not droop, but the pome fruits are edible.

Nor should it be confused with Snowball Tree, (Styrax japonica), which is another garden tree which has only four white petals which hang upside down facing the ground.

There seems to be great confusion about the scientific name assigned to 'Snowy Mespil'. Wikipedia and Collins 'Tree Guide' by Johnson & More give it as shown here, Amelanchier lamarckii, but Collins 'Complete British Trees' by Paul Sterry gives it as Amelanchier ovalis whereas Wikipedia assigns Amelanchier ovalis to 'Snowy Mespilus' or 'Serviceberry'. Garden trees are sometimes labelled Amelanchier canadensis, which Sterry names as 'Canadian Snowy Mespil' but Wikipedia gives as 'Eastern Shadbush'. The nomenclature is much confused. All these trees seem to share the same common names, Juneberry and Serviceberry, amongst many others. For these reasons, it is best to avoid common names when referring to the 14 or more Amelanchier species of shrubs and trees.

All that can be said is that the above photos best correspond to Amelanchier lamarckii as shown by Wikipedia on 8th December 2012 ( Amelanchier) and to Amelanchier ovalis as shown by Sterry under 'Snowy Mespil' in the 2007 edition of 'Collins Complete British Trees'! [Sterry shows Amelanchier lamarckii under Juneberry, but the above photographs do not best correspond with Sterrys' Amelanchier lamarckii photos, but rather with his Amelanchier ovalis photos]. Any common name is best ignored as the scientific names are already confused enough. The Author thinks it is time to ditch all the names and re-name them all afresh, using none of the original scientific or common names.

So, bear in mind that the names in the heading given to the specimens shown on this page may be in-correct, either now, or in the future... The Author hopes he doesn't come across any other Amelanchier Trees.

Easily mistaken for : Wild Crab (Malus sylvestris) but that has rounder leaves which are not half-bronzed when fresh and wilder branches. The two both have five narrow white petals, but those of Snowy Mespil are possibly narrower.

Easily mis-identified as : American Snowy Mespil aka American Shadblow (Amelanchier ovalis) but that is up to four times taller, at up to 20m and Canadian Snowy Mespil aka Eastern Shadbush (Amelanchier canadensis0 is slightly shorter than that at 15m, but still thrice the height of Snowy Mespil.

Most, if not all? Amelanchier genus trees are garden trees, which occasionally naturalise on sandy soils in scrub or woodland. This one, Amelanchier lamarckii, is the only one represented by the BSBI, who claim scattered populations around Greater London, Bournemouth, the West Midlands and Lancashire. They are probably native to North America.

The ripe black berries are edible and can be used to make a preserve.


  Amelanchier lamarckii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rose family8Rosaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Amelanchier
Amelanchier
(Juneberry)

SNOWY MESPIL

JUNEBERRY

Amelanchier lamarckii

Rose Family [Rosaceae]