Saskatoon

Silhouette - Saskatoon
  • Latin name: Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt.
  • French name: Amélanchier à feuilles d'aulne
  • Synonym(s): Western serviceberry , Saskatoon-berry
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 25109
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf  forms and detail of incurved, coarse teeth - Saskatoon

Form

  • Deciduous, alternate, simple
  • Oval to round, tip rounded
  • Base rounded or somewhat heart-shaped
  • Veins conspicuous and straight, about 8–13 per side
  • Fine hairs along the midvein on lower surface

Length

  • 2–5 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface dark green
  • Lower surface paler

Margin

  • Teeth coarse, somewhat incurved, on the upper two-thirds of the leaf
  • 1–2 per vein, mostly toothless toward the petiole

Petiole

  • 8–18 mm long

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - Saskatoon

Form

  • Narrowly ovoid
  • Twisted, tapering to a point
  • Pressed tightly against the twig
  • About 5 scales
  • Terminal bud much like the lateral buds
  • Leaf scars with 3 large vein scars

Length

  • 2–8 mm

Colour

  • Reddish-brown

Twigs

  • Winter twig - Saskatoon

Form

  • Slender
  • Ridges extend down from either side of the leaf scar
  • Pith 5-pointed
  • A neoformed shoot usually develops from one or more leaf axils below a terminal flower cluster
  • Covered with hairs in spring, becoming hairless

Colour

  • Reddish-brown to greyish-brown
  • Hairs white

Flowers

Form

  • Showy; 5 petals, fragrant
  • In short, dense, erect clusters with hairy stalks at the tips of new leafy shoots
  • At flowering time, leaves are unfolded but not fully grown
  • Insect-pollinated

Length

  • Clusters 2–3 cm
  • Petals 6–10 mm
  • Lower stalks longer than the upper ones

Colour

  • White

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • Early in spring, before or with the leaves

Fruits

  • Fruit (left); seed (right) - Saskatoon

Form

  • Globular, with 5–10 hard seeds
  • Sweet, juicy, edible

Width

  • 6–10 mm

Colour

  • Dark purple to black
  • Seeds brown

Timing

  • Ripening in late July or early August

Seeds

Form

  • Remain viable for some years at near-freezing temperatures
  • Germinate after exposure to moist cool conditions

Seedlings

Form

  • Cotyledons small, leafy
  • Raised above the surface during germination

Bark

Form

  • Smooth, conspicuously marked by a slightly twisted network of darker vertical lines
  • With age becoming rough and scaly

Colour

  • Brown to grey, tinged with red

Size

Height

  • To 4 m

Tree form

  • Silhouette - Saskatoon

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Slender, very little taper

Crown

  • Narrow, irregular

Habitat

Site

  • On rocky ridges, along streams, and on forest edges
  • In colonies
Photos
  • Saskatoon
  • Saskatoon
  • Saskatoon
  • Saskatoon
  • Saskatoon
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