Amelanchier lamarckii

Amelanchier lamarckii, also called juneberry, serviceberry or shadbush, is a large deciduous flowering shrub or small tree in the family Rosaceae. It is widely naturalised in Europe, where it is known as snowy mespilus[1] (a name which is also attached to the related A. ovalis) or snowy mespil.[2] The European plants are descendants of plants originally from eastern North America; there has been some escape also in North America of plants apparently secondarily derived from those European forms.[3]

Amelanchier lamarckii
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Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
A. lamarckii
Binomial name
Amelanchier lamarckii

In spring it produces star-shaped white flowers, which appear at the same time as the new leaves unfurling.[4] Its young berry-like pome fruits are dark red when young, but become dark purple when ripe. The fruits are edible and have an apple and sweet flavor. The leaves also change colour, opening pink, maturing to yellow-green, and turning red in autumn.[4] It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

This form is an apomictic microspecies, and presumed to be of hybrid origin[5] (A. laevis and either A. arborea or A. canadensis) and therefore under the rules of botanical nomenclature it would be known as Amelanchier × lamarckii. Its common name "snowy mespilus" reflects its close relationship with the medlar genus, Mespilus.

The Latin specific epithet Lamarckii honors the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829).[6]


  1. ^ a b "Amelanchier lamarckii". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Collins English Dictionary".
  3. ^ Campbell, Christopher S.; Burgess, Michael B.; Cushman, Kevin R.; Doucette, Eric T.; Dibble, Alison C.; Frye, Christopher T. (2015), "Amelanchier Medikus, Philos. Bot. 1: 135, 155. 1789", in Brouillet, L.; Gandhi, K.; Howard, C.L.; Jeude, H.; Kiger, R.W.; Phipps, J.B.; Pryor, A.C.; Schmidt, H.H.; Strother, J.L.; Zarucchi, J.L. (eds.), Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae, Flora of North America North of Mexico, vol. 9, Oxford University Press
  4. ^ a b "Snowy mespilus". BBC Plantfinder. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ Rushforth, Keith (1999). Collins Guide to the Trees of Britain and Europe. Harper Collins. pp. 503–4.
  6. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.

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