Amelanchier canadensis is native to Canada (as the specific epithet suggests), and in its native environment is prized for its berries that mature in June and are packed with vitamins and have been termed as one of the ‘super foods’. Perfectly hardy and tolerant of the hot dry summers here it is a super choice as a large shrub or small tree for your garden. The fruits are similar in size and taste to a blueberry and can be used as a substitute for blueberries in fruit salads, cakes, sprinkled on your breakfast, if you get a bumper crop you can make jams and jellies and even June berry Gin – use the same quantities and method as for making sloe gin.
Not only does it produce an edible crop of tasty fruits but it is an attractive ornamental plant too, the first new leaves have a coppery tint and the early white blossom covers the tree in early to mid-spring. In autumn the leaves turn brilliant red adding a third season of interest. It is low maintenance, requiring no specialist pruning – just the removal of dead, damaged or diseased material and any crossing, rubbing branches.
You can grow it as a standard tree where it will develop a neat, rounded crown or as a multi-stemmed shrub for a lower, more dense effect.
We have Amelanchier canadensis plants for sale at La Petite Pépinière at Le Jardin Créatif and a mature specimen to see in our demonstration garden. We will be offering tastings when the berries are ripe – hopefully for our Jardins Ouverts day on 23rd June!