Amelanchier spicata (dwarf serviceberry)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Environmental Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
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
- AMESP (Amelanchier spicata)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
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 TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Rosaceae
- Genus: Amelanchier
- Species: Amelanchier spicata
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
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).
DescriptionTop of page
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 TypeTop of page Broadleaved
DistributionTop of page
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 TableTop of page
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.
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
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.
HabitatTop of page
A. spicata is found in forests, dunes, rocky areas and riverbanks of northeastern North America (Krüssmann, 1984).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / 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-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details|
|Natural grasslands||Present, no further details|
|Coastal dunes||Present, no further details|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
In Latvia, A. spicata was found to be associated with Quercus robus, Padus avium, Sorbus aucuparia and Acer platanoides (Rurane et al., 2004).
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
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 DispersalTop of page
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 CausesTop of page
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Kabuce (2006) suggests that the current distributions of A. spicata should be monitored and controlled especially in areas affected by eutrophication.
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
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 FactorsTop 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
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
UsesTop of page
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 ListTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
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 ControlTop of page
A. spicata is on the EPPO list of invasive alien plants.
ReferencesTop of page
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
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.
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.
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
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.
ContributorsTop of page
05/12/09 Original text by:
Vicki Bonham, CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK
Distribution MapsTop of page
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