AMELANCHIER ALNIFOLIA, the SASKATOON, PACIFIC SERVICEBERRY, WESTERN
SERVICEBERRY, ALDER-LEAF SHADBUSH, DWARF SHADBUSH, CHUCKLEY PEAR, or
WESTERN JUNEBERRY, is a shrub with edible berry-like fruit, native to
* 1 Etymology * 2 Description * 3 Varieties * 4 Cultivation and uses * 5 Diseases and pests * 6 Nutrients * 7 Polyphenols * 8 References
The name saskatoon derives from the Cree inanimate noun
misâskwatômina (misâskwatômin NI sg, saskatoonberry,
misâskwatômina NI pl saskatoonberries). The city of
The species name alnifolia is a feminine adjective . It is a compound
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that most often grows to 1–8 m (3–26 ft), rarely to 10 m or 33 ft, in height. Its growth form spans from suckering and forming colonies to clumped.
The leaves are oval to nearly circular, 2–5 cm (3⁄4–2 in) long and 1–4.5 cm (1⁄2–1 3⁄4 in) broad, on a 0.5–2 cm (1⁄4–3⁄4 in) leaf stem , margins toothed mostly above the middle.
As with all species in the genus Amelanchier, the flowers are white, with five quite separate petals. In A. alnifolia, they are about 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄4 in) across, and appear on short racemes of three to 20 somewhat crowded together, in spring while the new leaves are still expanding.
The fruit is a small purple pome 5–15 mm (3⁄16–19⁄32 in) in diameter, ripening in early summer in the coastal areas and late summer further inland.
The three varieties are:
* A. a. var. alnifolia. Northeastern part of the species' range.
* A. a. var. pumila (Nutt.) A.Nelson.
Rocky Mountains , Sierra
* A. a. var. semiintegrifolia (Hook.) C.L.Hitchc. Pacific coastal
CULTIVATION AND USES
Seedlings are planted with 13–20 feet (4.0–6.1 m) between rows and 1.5–3 feet (0.46–0.91 m) between plants. An individual bush may bear fruit 30 or more years.
Saskatoons are adaptable to most soil types with exception of poorly drained or heavy clay soils lacking organic matter. Shallow soils should be avoided, especially if the water table is high or erratic. Winter hardiness is exceptional, but frost can damage blooms as late as May. Large amounts of sunshine are needed for fruit ripening.
With a sweet, nutty taste, the fruits have long been eaten by Canada's aboriginal people , fresh or dried. They are well known as an ingredient in pemmican , a preparation of dried meat to which saskatoon berries are added as flavour and preservative . They are also often used in pies , jam , wines , cider , beers , and sugar-infused berries similar to dried cranberries used for cereals , trail mix , and snack foods .
DISEASES AND PESTS
A. alnifolia is susceptible to cedar-apple rust , entomosporium leaf
spot , fireblight , brown rot , cytospora canker, powdery mildew , and
blackleaf. Problem insects include aphids , thrips , mites , bud
The 5- to 15-mm-diameter pomes ripen in early summer. Resembling blueberries, the fruit have a waxy bloom . Saskatoons picked near Wainwright, Alberta.
NUTRIENTS IN RAW SASKATOON BERRIES
NUTRIENT VALUE PER 100 G % DAILY VALUE
Energy 85 kcal
Total dietary fiber 5.9 g 20%
Sugars, total 11.4 g 8%
Vitamin C 3.6 mg 4%
Vitamin A 11 IU 1%
Vitamin E 1.1 mg 7%
Folate 4.6 µg 1%
Panthothenic acid 0.3 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.03 mg 2%
Biotin 20 µg 67%
Also similar in composition to blueberries, saskatoons have total
polyphenol content of 452 mg per 100 g (average of 'Smoky' and
'Northline' cultivars ), flavonols (61 mg) and anthocyanins (178 mg),
although others have found the phenolic values to be either lower in
the 'Smoky' cultivar or higher.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to AMELANCHIER ALNIFOLIA .
* ^ A B C Germplasm Resources Information Network: Amelanchier
* ^ Schorger, A.W. 1955. The Passenger Pigeon; its natural history
and extinction. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.
* ^ A B C D E Plants of British Columbia:
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