Herb: Snowy Mespilus

Latin name: Amelanchier ovalis

Synonyms: Amelanchier rotundifolia, Amelanchier vulgaris, Crataegus rotundifolia, Mespilus amelanchier

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Edible parts of Snowy Mespilus:

Edible fruit - raw or cooked. Not very palatable, but it can be used for preserves etc. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.

Description of the plant:


5 m
(16 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Rocky places and stony woods, mainly on limestone.

Other uses of Snowy Mespilus:

Wood - fine grained, hard, very heavy, reddish. Used for small articles.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Snowy Mespilus:

Rocky places and stony woods, mainly on limestone.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Amelanchier ovalis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.