Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Time for Pie—Native Juneberry/Serviceberry Similar to Blueberries

Karma Larsen
       If you’re fortunate enough to have Juneberries on your property or nearby, and quick enough to beat the birds to them, now’s the time to enjoy this wonderful native tree/shrub. Juneberry or serviceberry (Amelanchier species) have fruits similar to blueberries, and they’re just as nutritious and appropriate for eating fresh, on cereal, in pies or smoothies. 
        According to the Montana State University Extension guide, they’re actually “higher in protein, fat, fiber, calcium, magnesium and manganese than blueberries and strawberries.” 
        Fortunately they’re just as appealing and and adaptable for landscape use. Three of the 25 species of Amelanchier in the Northern Hemisphere are native to the state of Nebraska:

  • Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is native to the central and northern portions of the state and grows about 15’ high.
  • Shadblow serviceberry (A. arborea) usually grows into a multi-stemmed understory tree and is common along the banks of the Missouri River.
  • Dwarf serviceberry (A. sanguinea) is native to northwestern Nebraska and grows about 10’ in height.
  • There’s also a wide range of cultivars, including Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’ that grows to just 4-5’ in height and spread, small enough for even the most constrained yard.

        So grow some trees and shrubs and eat them too!

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