Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shadbush Season: four species of Amelanchier in flower, April 21st

Four species of Amelanchier occur naturally at AF:

(in order of first flowers, from April 9 - 21)

A. arborea

A. canadensis

A. laevis

A. nantucketensis

These species can be easily confused and hybrids are known to occur as well. The Nantucket Shadbush is newly identified at AF and is an interesting plant in that its petals produce pollen. A. arborea and A. canadensis look similar, the former tends to have a single trunk (tree-like), the latter many stems (shrub-like). Sepal characters also distinguish these two. A. laevis has glabrous (hairless) leaves that appear reddish when in flower, while the two previous species have hairy or pubescent leaves that appear whitish when in flower. Shadbush will continue to flower for another couple weeks.