Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Amelanchier spicata
(dwarf serviceberry)

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Datasheet

Amelanchier spicata (dwarf serviceberry)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Amelanchier spicata
  • Preferred Common Name
  • dwarf serviceberry
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. spicata is cultivated for ornamental purposes and has become naturalized in northern Europe where it is considered invasive. It has been identified by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organizati...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Amelanchier spicata (Lam.) K. Koch, 1869

Preferred Common Name

  • dwarf serviceberry

Other Scientific Names

  • Amelanchier canadensis subsp. spicata (Lam.) Á. Löve & D. Löve, 1961
  • Amelanchier humilis Wieg.
  • Amelanchier humilis var. campestris E.L.Nielsen
  • Amelanchier humilis var. compacta E.L.Nielsen
  • Amelanchier humilis var. exserrata E.L.Nielsen
  • Amelanchier murcronata E.L.Nielsen
  • Amelanchier ovalis Borkh. non Medicus
  • Amelanchier stolonifera auct.
  • Amelancus spicata (Decne.) Vollm.
  • Ariona ovalis
  • Crataegus spicata Lam., 1783
  • Pyrus ovalis Willd.

International Common Names

  • English: dwarf serviceberry; low juneberry; low serviceberry; thicket shadbush
  • French: amélanchier à feuilles rondes; Amélanchier en épis

Local Common Names

  • Estonia: tähktoompihlakas
  • Finland: isotuomipihlaja
  • Germany: Besen-felsenbirne; Felsenbirne, Ährige; Felsenbirne, Besen-
  • Italy: nespolino a foglie ronde
  • Latvia: varpaina koriinte
  • Lithuania: varpiine medlieva
  • Netherlands: krenteboompje, aar-
  • Norway: blåhegg; junisøtmispel
  • Poland: swidosliwka klosowa
  • Sweden: häggmispel

EPPO code

  • AMESP (Amelanchier spicata)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. spicata is cultivated for ornamental purposes and has become naturalized in northern Europe where it is considered invasive. It has been identified by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) as one of a number of species posing an important threat to plant health, the environment and biodiversity in the EPPO region.

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Amelanchier is taxonomically complex and contains many hybrids. Various botanical works cite different origins for A. spicata. Chittenden (1956) lists A. x spicata as a hybrid probably between Amelanchier oblongifolia and Amelanchier stolonifera, and Krüssmann (1984) states that until recently, A. spicata was erroneously considered to be a hybrid between Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier ovalis.

Tutin et al. (1968) suggest A. spicata is conspecific with Amelanchier humilis from northeastern North America. However, Schroeder (1970) does not agree that A. spicata is conspecific with either A. humilis or A. stolonifera.

The correct name for A. spicata is much debated; see the University of Maine’s website on Amelanchier Systematics and Evolution for further discussion (http://biology.umaine.edu/Amelanchier/spi.html).

Description

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Amelanchier is a genus of deciduous shrubs and small trees. A. spicata has suckers that grow from the base forming a thicket of stems.

Stems 1-30, 0.3-2.0 m; twigs glabrous at flowering. Leaves oval to orbiculate, 1.5-6.5 x 1-4 cm. Inflorescences (4)5-7(-10)-flowered, 1.5-4.0 cm. Flowers with 5 white to ivory petals, 6-10 x 2.5-4.0(-5.0) mm. Stamens 10-20, styles 5. Fruits purple-black, 7-12 mm diameter (simplified from University of Maine, 2009).

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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According to Schroeder (1970), A. spicata, naturalized in Europe along with Amelanchier confusa and Amelanchier lamarckii, is undoubtedly of North American origin, but is not known as a distinct species in North America; it is instead considered as a microspecies. Schroeder does not accept the suggestion that the naturalized Amelanchier might be hybrids that have arisen in European gardens. Kabuce (2006) provides a map of the distribution of A. spicata in North America.

A. spicata is regarded as invasive in much of northern Europe including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden, and is potentially invasive in Norway (NOBANIS, 2009). Present in both gardens and in the wild, the species has spread rapidly particularly in Latvia and Denmark (Kabuce, 2006).

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 ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

North America

CanadaPresent Natural Tropicos, 2009; EPPO, 2014
-New BrunswickPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-Nova ScotiaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-OntarioPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-Prince Edward IslandPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-QuebecPresentTropicos, 2009
USAPresent Natural Tropicos, 2009; EPPO, 2014
-AlabamaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-ConnecticutPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-DelawarePresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-GeorgiaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-IllinoisPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-IowaPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-MainePresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-MarylandPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-MassachusettsPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-MichiganPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-MinnesotaPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-New HampshirePresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-New JerseyPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-New YorkPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-North CarolinaPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-North DakotaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-OhioPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-PennsylvaniaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-Rhode IslandPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-South CarolinaPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-TennesseePresentTropicos, 2009
-VermontPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-VirginiaPresentTropicos, 2009; University of Maine, 2009
-West VirginiaPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009
-WisconsinPresentUniversity of Maine, 2009

Europe

AustriaPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
BelgiumPresentKurtto, 2009; EPPO, 2014
BulgariaPresentEPPO, 2014
Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; EPPO, 2014
DenmarkPresentIntroduced Invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
EstoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
FinlandRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
FrancePresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; EPPO, 2014
GermanyPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
LatviaPresentIntroduced Invasive Rurane et al., 2004; Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
LithuaniaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Gudzinskas, 2005; Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; EPPO, 2014
NorwayWidespreadIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014Common, potentially invasive
PolandPresentIntroducedKurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
Russian FederationPresent Not invasive NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014Very common in European part of Russia
-Central RussiaPresentEPPO, 2014
SwedenPresentIntroduced Invasive Kurtto, 2009; NOBANIS, 2009; EPPO, 2014
UKPresentRHS, 2009Available from nurseries via RHS Plant Finder
UkrainePresentEPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

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Because A. spicata is a favoured ornamental, the risk of deliberate introduction is high.

Erkamo (1956, in Kowarik, 1995) analysed the capability of woody species to regenerate by seed and thus spread further. From the beginning to the middle of the 1900s, a number of species, including A. spicata, extended their regeneration front several latitudes northwards.

Habitat

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A. spicata is found in forests, dunes, rocky areas and riverbanks of northeastern North America (Krüssmann, 1984).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details
Disturbed areas Present, no further details
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Natural grasslands Present, no further details
Littoral
Coastal dunes Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Associations

In Latvia, A. spicata was found to be associated with Quercus robus, Padus avium, Sorbus aucuparia and Acer platanoides (Rurane et al., 2004).

Soil Tolerances

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Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

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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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Introduced intentionally via horticulture, the seed of A. spicata is dispersed naturally by small mammals, bears and birds (Birkmane et al., 1957 in Kabuce, 2006). The plant also spreads vegetatively, forming dense stands.

Pathway Causes

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Environmental Impact

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Kabuce (2006) suggests that the current distributions of A. spicata should be monitored and controlled especially in areas affected by eutrophication.

Impact: Biodiversity

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A. spicata is said to be invading coastal areas in the Baltic region, altering the structure of both plant communities and the landscape. Spread is faster than that of other species due to the availability of suitable ecological conditions and the poor competition from other species (Kabuce et al., 2006 and references therein).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Long lived
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Amelanchier is an easily-cultivated and attractive tree species introduced via horticulture. A. spicata is used as an ornamental in parks, and along roads and hedgerows. It is also planted in windbreaks (Kabuce, 2006).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Windbreak

General

  • Ornamental

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Amelanchier canadensis, a native of the eastern USA, is closely related to A. spicata (Tutin et al., 1968). A. spicata is also similar to Amelanchier humilis in habit, but prefers acidic soils whereas A. humilis is a calciphile (University of Maine, 2009). 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. lamarckii in this Compendium.

Prevention and Control

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A. spicata is on the EPPO list of invasive alien plants.

References

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Binggeli P, 1998. Plants of the pacific northwest in Western Europe. Plants of the pacific northwest in Western Europe. unpaginated. [Botanical Electronis News, No. 195.]

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

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm

Global Compendium of Weeds, 2009. Amelanchier spicata (Rosaceae). Amelanchier spicata (Rosaceae). unpaginated. http://www.hear.org/gcw/species/amelanchier_spicata/

Gudzinskas Z, 2005. Case studies on the alien flora of the vicinity of cemeteries in Lithuania. Latvijas Universitates Raksti, 685:21-37.

Kabuce N, 2006. NOBANIS - invasive alien species fact sheet - Heracleum sosnowskyi. Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species - NOBANIS. http://www.nobanis.org

Kowarik I, 1995. Time lags in biological invasions with regard to the success and failure of alien species. In: Pysek P, Prach K, Rejmane M, Wade M, eds. Plant invasions: general aspects and special problems. Workshop held at Kostelec nad Cernymi lesy, Czech Republic, 16-19 September 1993. Amsterdam, Netherlands; SPB Academic Publishing, 15-38.

Krüssmann G, 1984. Amelanchier Medic. - Rosaceae. Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees and shrubs. Vol. 1. 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. unpaginated. http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/

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.

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

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

Rurane I; ZnotiHa V; Brumelis G; Tabors G; Balodis VA, 2004. Distribution of Amelanchier spicata in Jurmala in relation to environmental factors. Distribution of Amelanchier spicata in Jurmala in relation to environmental factors. Latvijas Universitate, 39 pp. http://piekraste.daba.lv/LV/peetiijumi/Amelanchier_spicata_izplatiiba.pdf

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

Tropicos, 2009. Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. unpaginated. http://www.tropicos.org

Tutin TG; Heywood VH; Burge NA; Moore DM; Valnete DH; Walter SM; Webb DA, 1968. Flora Europaea. Vol. 2. Rosaceae to Umbelliferae [ed. by TUTIN, T. G.\ET AL.]. Cambridge University Press, London, xxvii + 455 pp.

University of Maine, 2009. Amelanchier systematics and evolution. Amelanchier systematics and evolution. unpaginated. http://biology.umaine.edu/Amelanchier/spi.html

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Amelanchier Systematics and Evolution, University of Mainehttp://biology.umaine.edu/Amelanchier/

Contributors

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05/12/09 Original text by:

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

Distribution Maps

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