Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Unexpected Bloom

We were soaking up the morning sun when an unexpected flower caught my eye.

These little trees were mere rooted sticks a year ago. I had assumed that, like most fruit-bearing trees, that it would be several years before we saw flowers or fruit. But I was forgetting that these saplings are actually cuttings from a mature plant, so even though they are yet small, they are eager to reproduce.

See it? There towards the middle?

Of the ten trees, this one is the largest. It's as big around as my thumb now. And it has flowers!

This is the first time I have ever seen a serviceberry blooming. Right now there are quite a few white-flowered trees blooming at the wood-edges along the highway, too, so I suspect those are also serviceberry.

Serviceberry, Amelanchier canadensis, also known as Juneberry, Canadian serviceberry, or shadblow serviceberry, is an East-coast native understory tree that should really be used more by the horticulturial industry. In addition to the lovely white flowers and silvery foliage, it bears edible berries. I have read that the berries are like blueberries, but sweeter. The only reason that nobody eats them is that the birds strip the trees bare too quickly to make cultivation worthwhile.

I notice how much the blossoms look like apple blossoms, and also like strawberry blossoms, and old-fashioned roses. But this is no surprise, because all of these plants are in the rose family.

This little loop of saplings is going to be my son's play-fort in a few years, and maybe a nice shady place to read a book after he has outgrown it. Here he is with his father, testing it out.


MrILoveTheAnts said...

Great to see you might get a taste of food this year. Hopefully they're self compatable. Why do you have them planted so close together?

Michelle said...

Hello MrAnts. These are planted close together for the purpose of making a living-fence-type structure, as is done with willow: According to Plants for a Future amelanchier canadensis is self fertile: