Amelanchier – Popular Shrubs for the Garden

Amelanchier canadensis


There seems to be a certain amount of confusion over the correct name of the popular shrubs that are usually grown in our gardens under the name of Amelanchier canadensis. It may strictly be Amelanchier laevis.

Correct name apart, it is a charming large shrub or small tree, its period of beauty extending throughout much of the spring, when the young leaves break from the buds and are pink in colour, to autumn when the foliage turns an attractive red before it falls.

The white flowers, which have five narrow petals, open in April and are so freely borne that the shrub becomes a mass of white. They are followed by fruits, that are red at first but which later ripen to a reddish-purple, providing the birds leave them on the twigs long enough.

Amelanchier ovalis Amelanchier ovalis, the Snowy Mespilus, and Amelanchier oblongifolia, the Swamp Sugar Pear, are two others, better perhaps for the smaller garden than Amelanchier laevis, as they seldom grow much more than a dozen feet tall, whereas Amelanchier laevis may, in time, grow to 20 feet.

Amelanchier ovalis is distinguished by the woolly whiteness of its young twigs and leaves. Amelanchier oblongifolia tends to make sucker growths, though these are seldom a nuisance and, in fact, provide an easy way of propagating as it is only necessary to dig them up in the winter and transplant them. Otherwise, the flowers and fruits are very similar indeed and the leaves of both plants colour well during the autumn.

No pruning is necessary, nor do these useful and handsome shrubs make any particular soil demands. They will grow extremely well on chalk soils and in exposed positions in the garden.

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Amelanchier – Popular Shrubs for the Garden


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