Canada Shadbush, Juneberry, or Serviceberry

Amelanchier canadensis

Shadbushes are graceful native shrubs. The name is said to refer to their time of flowering: just about the time when shad, the anadromous fish, leave the ocean and go upstream rivers for spawning. Canada shadbush is generally the most common species of shadbush in Massachusetts, certainly much more common than its hybrid, intermediate shadbush; however, in Alper Preserve the hybrid appears to be more common. The leaves in Canada shadbush open silvery hairy, densely downy, and there is no russet tint. During the flowering, the leaves remain underdeveloped. The flowers are much smaller than those of intermediate shadbush. The prime habitat for Canada shadbush is pond margin, but it also does relatively well away from water. Shadbush fruits much resemble miniature apples—shadbushes and apples are closely related. Another name for shadbush is juneberry. In fact, the tiny apple-like fruits ripen early in the season and are a gourmet food for many birds as well as small and large animals. Shadbushes are host plants to tiger swallowtail, viceroy, red-spotted purple, white admiral, and striped hairstreak butterflies.

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May 12, Myles Standish SF, Plymouth

May 15, Crane WMA, Falmouth