Herb: Pacific Serviceberry


Latin name: Amelanchier alnifolia semiintegrifolia


Synonyms: Amelanchier florida, Amelanchier oxyodon


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Pacific Serviceberry:

An infusion of the inner bark is used as a treatment for snow-blindness. A compound concoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Moist woods and open places.

Edible parts of Pacific Serviceberry:

Edible fruit - raw or cooked. A sweet and succulent fruit, it is soft and juicy with a few small seeds in the centre and has a hint of apple in the flavour. A very acceptable fruit that can be eaten in quantity, it matures about 2 - 3 weeks later than most other members of the genus. Formerly an important food for the N. American Indians, it can also be dried and used as a raisin substitute. It is up to 13mm in diameter. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.

Other uses of the herb:

Wood - tough, hard, heavy, close grained.

Propagation of Pacific Serviceberry:

Seed - it is best harvested "green", when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring - takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist woods and open places.

Known hazards of Amelanchier alnifolia semiintegrifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.