Herb: Utah Serviceberry


Latin name: Amelanchier utahensis


Synonyms: Amelanchier prunifolia


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Utah Serviceberry:

An infusion of the inner bark is used to treat snow-blindness. The plant has been used to ease childbirth during labour and delivery.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
5 m
(16 feet)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Drier areas on rimrock valleys, gullies and hillsides from sagebrush desert to middle elevations in mountains.

Edible parts of Utah Serviceberry:

Edible fruit, raw or cooked. The fruit can also be dried and used as a raisin substitute. The fruit is rich in iron and copper. It is produced in small clusters and is about 10mm in diameter.

Other uses of the herb:

Wood - heavy, hard and strong. The hardness of the wood makes it suitable for use as the spindle of a fire drill. Trees are seldom large enough to be of commercial interest. The wood has been used to make the rims of baskets.

Propagation of Utah 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:

Drier areas on rimrock valleys, gullies and hillsides from sagebrush desert to middle elevations in mountains.

Known hazards of Amelanchier utahensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.