Saskatoon Berry Identification – Amelanchier alnifolia

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This post is part of our “100 Plants and Mushrooms” series. Here, you’ll see the plant’s main parts – its leaves, flowers, fruits, and more – all with key identification features.

Saskatoon Berry, scientifically known as Amelanchier alnifolia, is part of the Rosaceae family, which houses many of our favorite fruit trees, including apples, cherries, and pears. Besides Saskatoon Berry, this plant is often called Juneberry or Saskatoon Serviceberry. “Juneberry” suggests the month it typically bears fruit.

This berry plant thrives in Western and Central North America. Being a low-maintenance plant with medium growth speed, it’s an attractive choice for many gardeners. Plus, with its ability to provide cover and food, it’s also a favorite among wildlife like birds, bees, butterflies, and small mammals.

Saskatoon Berry: Key Parts in Photos

How to identify Saskatoon Berry

The Saskatoon Serviceberry is a deciduous shrub. Though some can stretch up to 30 feet tall, they mostly range between 3 to 18 feet. If you’re looking for a sign of its presence in early spring, keep an eye out for its small white flowers, which emerge before its leaves. These blossoms not only have a pleasant fragrance but can also stay blooming for nearly a month.

The leaves of this shrub are oval or almost circular. They have toothed edges, especially towards the top. The leaves show off a light green hue, which transforms into a blend of red and yellow during fall, remaining vivid for a longer time than many other plants. If you closely inspect these leaves, you’d find the underside with a soft, gray, hairy texture.

Its flowers, which are white and star-shaped, show up in compact clusters. Each flower measures between 1-3 inches and appears in racemes, where flowers are positioned along the main stem, with the oldest flowers at the base and the youngest at the top.

Post the flowering season, the Saskatoon Serviceberry bears fruits. These berries, which are around 1/2 inches in size, have a resemblance to blueberries and bear a waxy bloom. By early summer, these fruits ripen into a delightful bluish-purple color. These aren’t just for show – they’re sweet, and edible.

Want to learn more?

Our new book, “A New Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods,” is available on Amazon. It helps beginners learn about how to identify and cook with these 100 common plants and mushrooms. Click the buy button on the right and order your copy now!

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