Amelanchier lamarckii – a small tree with a big presence

One of my favourite moments of spring has to be the flowering of Amelanchier lamarckii on the edge of the orchard. It is admittedly rather fleeting, flowering for a couple of weeks at most, but it is an absolute delight.

Originally from eastern Canada it was probably brought over to France in the second half of the nineteenth century but is now widespread across Europe in both gardens and in the wild 1 . It is also known as juneberry, serviceberry and snowy mespilus.

It is a small to medium sized tree with a light, open habit. In spring the fresh young leaves are an unusual mix of bronze and green shades which create a striking background to the white, star shaped flowers. Later in the year this plant also provides good red autumn colour as the leaves prepare to fall.

Our tree sits on the edge of the orchard on the north side of a mixed shrubbery. It seems to require very little maintenance and returns to please without fail year after year. These pictures were all taken on 16th April 2021 when it was in its full glory. Rather conveniently it flowers at the same time as the yellow Berberis darwinii and I think the combination works really well together.

In my view no garden should be without this very special tree.

1 CABI Invasive species compendium

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