Amelanchier Med.

Amelanchier is a genus of probably 20 species, all confined to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. As a result of apomixis and hybridization taxonomy of Amelanchier is very complex. One species, Amelanchier ovalis Med., is native close to the Belgian frontiers and has been reliably recorded from Belgium before 1850 near Verviers (Schroeder 1972). Its residence status is uncertain: it might as well be a very rare (or extinct) native or an exceptional escape from cultivation in Belgium.

In addition to the species included in this account several others may have been overlooked in Belgium, for instance Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. (e.g. Amarell & Welk 1995, Lepši & Lepši 2008).

Additional up-to-date information on the systematics and evolution of Amelanchier is available at

1       Styles very short, ca. 1 mm long, shorter than the hypanthium, free to base. Leaves coarsely serrate, with 3-5 rounded teeth per cm. Petals usually woolly outside (native?) === Amelanchier ovalis

         Styles longer, 2-4,5 mm long, obviously exceeding hypanthium, connate at least near base. Leaves finely serrate, with 5-7 acute teeth per cm. Petals glabrous outside, at most ciliate at margins === 2

2       Ovary glabrous at apex. Inflorescence lax with lower pedicels clearly longer than upper. Petals lanceolate (ca. 3x as long as wide), 10-15 mm long, glabrous. Young leaves purplish or copper-coloured, not densely woolly beneath. Mature leaves ca. twice as long as wide, shortly acuminate at apex Conspicuous autumn colouring (yellow, orange or crimson) === Amelanchier lamarckii

         Ovary densely woolly at apex. Inflorescence dense with all pedicels of more or less equal length. Petals obovate (ca. twice as long as wide), 6-10 mm long, ciliate at margins. Young leaves light to olive green, densely yellowish woolly beneath. Mature leaves about as long as wide, rounded to cuspidate at apex. No conspicuous autumn colouring === A. spicata


Amarell U. & Welk E. (1995) Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ein unbeachteter Neophyt in Mitteldeutschland. Mitt. Florist. Kart. 20: 21-23.

Campbell C.S., Burgess M.B., Cushman K.R., Doucette E.T., Dibble A.C. & Frye C.T. (2014) Amelanchier. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 9. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 646-661. [available online at:]

Campbell C.S. & Wright W.A. (1996) Apomixis, hybridization and taxonomic complexity in eastern North American Amelanchier (Rosaceae). Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 31: 345-354.

Campbell C.S., Wright W.A., Vining T.F. & Halteman W.A. (1997) Morphological variation in sexual and agamospermous Amelanchier (Rosaceae). Canad. J. Bot. 75(7): 1166-1173.

Cinq Mars L. (1971) Le genre Amelanchier au Quebec. Nat. Canad. 98(3): 329-345.

Cushman K.R., Burgess M.B., Doucette E.T., Nelson G.A. & Campbell C.S. (2017) Species Delimitation in Tetraploid, Apomictic Amelanchier (Rosaceae). Syst. Bot. 42(2): 234-256. [available online at:]

De Koning J., Van den Broek J.W., Van de Laar H.J. & Fortgens G. (2000) Nederlandse dendrologie (13e druk). H. Veenman & zonen, Ede: 585 p.

Hamet-Ahti L. (1978) On the Amelanchier species grown in Finland. Bull. Finn. Soc. Dendrol., 9: 138-141.

Jäger E.J. & Werner K. (eds.) (2005) Rothmaler Band 4. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Gefässpflanzen: Kritischer Band. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Jones G.N. (1946) American species of Amelanchier. Urbana.

Lambinon J. & Verloove F. (avec coll. Delvosalle L., Toussaint B., Geerinck D., Hoste I., Van Rossum F., Cornier B., Schumacker R., Vanderpoorten A. & Vannerom H.) (2012) Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des Régions voisines (Ptéridophytes et Spermatophytes). Sixième édition. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise: CXXXIX + 1195 p.

Landry P. (1975) Le concept d’espèce et la taxinomie du genre Amelanchier (Rosacées). Bull. Soc. Bot. Fr. 122: 243-252.

Lepši P. & Lepši M. (2008) Adventivní výskyt muchovníků (Amelanchier) v České republice. Zprávy Čes. Bot. Společ. 43: 209-230. [available online at:]

Lombarts P. (1998) Felsenbirnen mit besonderen Eigenschaften. Gartenpraxis 2/98 : 26-31.

Phipps J.B., Robertson K.R., Smith P.G. & Rohrer J.R. (1990) A checklist of the subfamily Maloideae (Rosaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 68(10): 2209-2269.

Richardson J.E. (1995) Erysimum. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 421-422.

Robinson W.A. (1982) Experimental taxonomy in the genus Amelanchier. II. Do the taxa in Amelanchier form an agamic complex? Rhodora 84: 85-100.

Robinson W.A. & Portanen C.R. (1980) Experimental taxonomy in the genus Amelanchier, 1. A new look at the chromosome numbers of the Amelanchier species growing in the northeastern United States. Rhodora 82: 483-493.

Roloff A. & Bärtels A. (2006) Flora der Gehölze (2e Auflage). Ulmer, Stuttgart: 844 p.

Schroeder F.-G. (1968) Zur Nomenklatur in der Gattung Amelanchier Med. Taxon 17(6): 633-634.

Schroeder F.-G. (1970) Exotic Amelanchier species naturalised in Europe and their occurrence in Great Britain. Watsonia 8: 155-162.

Schroeder F.-G. (1970) Die Kupter-Felsenbirne, Amelanchier lamarckii F.-G. Schroeder (Rosaceae), in westfalen und Nordwest-Niedersachsen. Decheniana 122: 269-276.

Schroeder F.-G. (1972) Amelanchier-Arten als Neophyten in Europe. Mit einem Beitrag zur Soziologie der Gebuschgesellschaften saurer Boden. Abh. Naturwiss. Ver. Bremen 37(3/3): 287-419.

Sutton D. (1983) The Mespil: Snow in April. Liv. Countryside 9: 2061-2063.

Ter Pelkwijk A.J. (1951) Over de benaming van enige Amelanchier-soorten. Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. 58: 37-47.

Van de Laar H.J. (1994) Amelanchier. Dendroflora 31: 3-23.

Weaver R.E. (1974) The shadbushes. Arnoldia 34(1): 22-31.

ZatylnyA.M. & St-Pierre R.G. (2003) Revised International Registry of Cultivars and Germplasm of the Genus Amelanchier. Small Fruits Review 2(1): 51-80. [available online at:]

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith