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.