Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Amelanchier lamarckii
(snowy mespilus)

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Datasheet

Amelanchier lamarckii (snowy mespilus)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Amelanchier lamarckii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • snowy mespilus
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. lamarckii is an attractive tree of horticultural interest with showy flowers and fruit; the latter are also edible. It exhibits good autumn colour and provides year-round interest. The species is probably nati...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Amelanchier lamarckii F.G. Schroed. 1968

Preferred Common Name

  • snowy mespilus

Other Scientific Names

  • Amelanchier aborea
  • Amelanchier botrypium DC.
  • Amelanchier canadensis auct., non (L.) Medicus
  • Amelanchier canadensis subsp. confusa
  • Amelanchier confusa Dandy
  • Amelanchier grandiflora auct., non Rehder. 1920
  • Amelanchier intermedia Non Spach
  • Amelanchier laevis auct., non Wigand
  • Amelanchier x grandiflora Rehder, 1920
  • Amelanchier x lamarckii F.G. Schroed.
  • Crataegus racemosa Lam. non Lindl.
  • Mespilus arborea Michx. f., 1812

International Common Names

  • English: apple serviceberry; downy serviceberry; June berry; juneberry; Lamarck serviceberry; service berry; serviceberry; snowy mespile
  • French: néflier des rochers

Local Common Names

  • Finland: rustouomipihlaja
  • Germany: Felsenbirne, Grossblütige; Felsenbirne, Kupfer-; Kupfer-felsenbirne
  • Italy: nespolino di Lamarck; pero corvino
  • Netherlands: drents krentenboompje; Krentenboompje
  • Norway: Kanadasøtmispel
  • Sweden: prakthäggmistel

EPPO code

  • AMELM (Amelanchier lamarckii)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. lamarckii is an attractive tree of horticultural interest with showy flowers and fruit; the latter are also edible. It exhibits good autumn colour and provides year-round interest. The species is probably native to North America, and has been introduced to Europe where it has been grown in gardens and has become naturalized on light acid soils. A. lamarckii is listed on NOBANIS – the European Network on Invasive Alien Species - as potentially invasive in a number of European countries.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rosales
  •                         Family: Rosaceae
  •                             Genus: Amelanchier
  •                                 Species: Amelanchier lamarckii

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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There are considered to be 25 species of Amelanchier, nearly all found in North America, with one species originating in Europe (Amelanchier ovalis) and one species originating in East Asia (Amelanchier asiatica). A key to the genus Amelanchier can be found in Krüssmann (1984).

The taxonomy and distribution of the genus Amelanchier in Europe has remained confused. Schroeder (1970) attempted to clarify the situation on his paper ‘Amelanchier – Atern als Neophyten in Europe’, written in German, which he summarized in English.

Clapham et al. (1987) suggest that the British A. lamarckii appears to be a complex hybrid that probably arose in cultivation, combining features of Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier arborea. However, Schroeder (1970) does not accept that the hybrids have arisen in European gardens and instead proposes that A. lamarckii, along with Amelanchier confusa and Amelanchier spicata, are undoubtedly of North American origin. However, rather than being known as distinct species in North America they are instead considered as microspecies.

Furthermore, nomenclature is confusing, with A. arborea being the accepted name in the USA (Wageningen University, 2009). Such confusion has made it unclear as to whether all plants sold under the species name A. lamarckii are in fact A. lamarckii (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009).

Schroeder (1968) suggested the nomen novem A. lamarckii, which is now the accepted name for this species.

Description

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Amelanchier is a genus of deciduous shrubs and small trees. Clapham et al. (1981) describe A. lamarckii as follows:

“Flowers in racemes. Shrub or small tree to 12 m, with simple broadly elliptic finely serrate leaves 3-7 cm, coppery red when young, and a slender spreading or drooping inflorescence of many flowers with white linear-oblong petals 1.5-2 cm; carpels 5; fruits small, globose, blackish purple”.

Petals 5, stamens 10-20 and styles 5.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Shrub
Tree

Distribution

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Native to eastern Canada and is presumed to have been brought over to France in the second half of the nineteenth century and disseminated from there. Along with Amelanchier laevis, A. lamarckii is one of the most frequently found species in northern European nurseries and gardens due to its glorious red autumn colours (Krüssmann, 1984). It has become naturalized in Europe especially where acid soils prevail, as in southeast England (Schroeder, 1970). A detailed key to the naturalized European species A. lamarckii, Amelanchier confusa and Amelanchier spicata can be found in Schroeder (1970).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New BrunswickPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-Nova ScotiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-OntarioPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-QuebecPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-ArkansasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-ConnecticutPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-DelawarePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-District of ColumbiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-FloridaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-GeorgiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-IllinoisPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-IndianaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-IowaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-KansasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-KentuckyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-LouisianaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MainePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MarylandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MassachusettsPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MichiganPresentNative Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MinnesotaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MississippiPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-MissouriPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-NebraskaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-New HampshirePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-New JerseyPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-New YorkPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-North CarolinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-OhioPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-OklahomaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-PennsylvaniaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-Rhode IslandPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-South CarolinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-TennesseePresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-TexasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-VermontPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-VirginiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-West VirginiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011
-WisconsinPresentNative Not invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009
Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedPysek et al., 2002First recorded 1877
DenmarkPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009
FinlandPresent, few occurrencesNOBANIS, 2009Potentially invasive
FrancePresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009
GermanyPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009
GreecePresentKurtto, 2009Cultivated
IrelandPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; Wageningen University, 2009Frequent naturalised species
NorwayPresent, few occurrences Not invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009Established
SwedenPresentIntroduced Not invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009
UKPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; Natural England, 2009; Stace et al., 2009
-Channel IslandsPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009

Habitat

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Grown in gardens and has become naturalized on light acid soils (Clapham et al., 1987). In the UK, it is restricted to acid, mostly sandy soils of rather variable water content, belonging to the Querco-Betuletum vegetation type (Schroeder, 1970). It is found in both mixed conifer/broadleaf and broadleaf forests, urban areas and wetlands (NOBANIS, 2009).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Wetlands Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Associations

Associated woody plants include Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Frangula alnus, Sorbus acuparia, Calluna vulgaris, Vaccinium myrtillus and Rhododendron ponticum (Schroeder, 1970).

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Although the species is generally pest free (RHS, 2009), fire blight caused by Erwinia amylovora has been reported on serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) (Van der Zwet and Keil, 1979 in Momol and Aldwinckle, 2000).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector Transmission (biotic)

Seeds dispersed by birds (thrush, blackbird, wood pigeon).

Intentional Introduction

A. lamarckii has been intentionally introduced across Europe via the horticultural trade.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop production Yes NOBANIS, 2009
Forestry Yes NOBANIS, 2009
Horticulture Yes NOBANIS, 2009

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Long lived
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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Amelanchier is easily cultivated and very hardy. A. lamarckii has flowers that are showy, but short lived; however, the foliage gives good autumn colour (Chittenden, 1956).

The berries ripen in June hence the common name Juneberry and resemble blueberries in colour, size and taste (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009). They are used in jams, jellies and pies.

The berries are also a major attraction for birds, including the blackbird, fieldfare, greenfinch, mistlethrush, red wing and song thrush. Crops of soft fruit can be protected from birds by planting A. lamarckii alongside to give the birds something else to feed on (Natural England, 2009).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Fruits

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A. lamarckii is often confused with Amelanchier laevis. The foliage is fully open and glabrous at flowering time in the latter, which also flowers 1-2 weeks earlier than A. lamarckii (Krüssmann, 1984).

A detailed key to the naturalized European species A. lamarckii, Amelanchier confusa and Amelanchier spicata can be found in Schroeder (1970). See also the datasheet on A. spicata in this Compendium.

References

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Amelanchier Systematics and Evolution, 2009. Amelanchier spicata. Amelanchier spicata. Maine, USA: University of Maine, unpaginated. http://biology.umaine.edu/Amelanchier/Home.html

Chittenden FJ, 1956. Dictionary of Gardening. RHS Vol. 1, 2nd edition. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 512 pp.

Clapham AR; Tutin TG; Moore DM, 1987. Flora of the British Isles, Ed. 3. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, xxviii + 688pp.

Clapham AR; Tutin TG; Warburg ET, 1981. Excursion flora of the British Isles, 3rd edition. UK: Cambridge University Press, 499 pp.

HEAR, 2009. Global Compendium of Weeds. Global Compendium of Weeds. unpaginated. http://www.hear.org/gcw

Krüssmann G, 1984. Amelanchier Medic. - Rosaceae. Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees and shrubs. Vol. 1. London, UK: A-D. BT Batsford Ltd., 141-149.

Kurtto A, 2009. Rosaceae (proparte majore). Euro+Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Palermo, Italy: Università degli Studi di Palermo, unpaginated. http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009. Amelanchier lamarckii. Amelanchier lamarckii. Missouri, USA: Kemper Center for Home Gardening, Missouri Botanical Garden, unpaginated. http://www.mobot.org/GARDENINGHELP

Momol MT; Aldwinckle HS, 2000. Genetic diversity and host range of Erwinia amylovora. In: Fire blight: the disease and its causative agent, Erwinia amylovora [ed. by Vanneste, J. L.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 55-72. http://www.cabi.org/CABeBooks/default.aspx?site=107&page=45&LoadModule=PDFHier&BookID=46

Momol MT; Aldwinckle HS, 2000. Genetic diversity and host range of Erwinia amylovora. In: Vanneste JL, ed. Fire blight the disease and its causative agent, Erwinia amylovora. Wallingford, Oxon UK: CABI Publishing, 55-72.

Natural England, 2009. Snowy mespile - Amelanchier lamarkii. Snowy mespile - Amelanchier lamarkii. Sheffield, UK: Natural England, unpaginated. http://www.plantpress.com/wildlife/o906-snowymespile.php

NOBANIS, 2009. European network on invasive alien species. European network on invasive alien species. unpaginated. http://www.nobanis.org

Pysek P; Sádlo J; Mandák B, 2002. Catalogue of alien plants of the Czech Republic. Preslia, 74(2):97-186.

RHS, 2009. The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database. London, UK: Royal Horticultural Society, unpaginated. http://www.rhs.org.uk

Schroeder FG, 1968. [English title not available]. (Zur Nomenklatur in der Gattung Amelanchier (Rosaceae).) Taxon, 17:633-634.

Schroeder FG, 1970. Exotic Amelanchier species naturalized in Europe and their occurrence in Great Britain. Watsonia, 8:155-162.

Stace C; Meijden R van der; Kort I de, 2009. Amelanchier lamarckii (Juneberry). Interactive Flora of NW Europe. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: NLBIF, unpaginated. http://nlbif.eti.uva.nl/bis/flora.php?menuentry=soorten&id=2766

USDA-NRCS, 2011. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Wageningen University, 2009. Amelanchier lamarckii Schröder. Forest ecology and forest management group tree factsheet. Amelanchier lamarckii Schröder. Forest ecology and forest management group tree factsheet., The Netherlands: Wageningen University, unpaginated. http://webdocs.dow.wur.nl/internet/fem/uk/trees/amelamf.pdf

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Amelanchier larmarckii, Wageningen Universityhttp://webdocs.dow.wur.nl/internet/fem/uk/trees/amelamf.pdf

Contributors

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15/12/09 Original text by:

Vicki Bonham, CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK

Distribution Maps

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