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Blueberry Look-A-Likes and Taste-A-Likes

Written by Hilary on December 11th, 2009

If you love blueberries, but just can’t grow them because of their acidity and other requirements, you might want to try juneberries.

Juneberries (Amelanchier spp.), also known as serviceberries and saskatoons, are one of the easiest berries you can ever plant and grow.

Unlike blueberries, they grow in any type of soil, so you can plant them just about anywhere as long as they get full sun.

Juneberries produce sweet berries that taste very similar to blueberries and can be eaten fresh right off the shrub, used in baked goods, cobblers, dried and stored, or made into jams and jellies.

Because they naturally contain quite a lot of pectin, you don’t need much thickener when cooking them into jam. The Indians, who used them like blueberries, dried them and added them in stews and pemmican.

They have seeds like a blueberry, but they are softer and have a mild almond flavor. When they are cooked, the taste is so similar to blueberries they are hard to tell apart.

Another great aspect of these shrubs and small trees is that they are very disease resistant and not susceptible to any insects.

Juneberries are not only tasty, but they are very ornamental with showy white flowers in the spring and red leaves in the fall.

Depending upon what variety you plant, they can be grown as shrubs or small trees, and each plant will produce large quantities of fruit.

Here are two varieties that do very well:

1. Juneberry / Serviceberry – Regent Saskatoon
Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’

Regent Saskatoon Serviceberry, (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’), is a multi-stemmed shrub that displays multitudes of white flowers in spring and produces small black-purple fruits that are sweet; excellent for fresh eating or making jelly. Birds love them too. Since it flowers early in spring, this plant provides food for many pollinating insects. The gray-green foliage turns yellow to red in fall and is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. Amelanchier ‘Regent’ is very winter hardy and has healthy foliage that is not bothered by insects or disease. It is drought tolerant but water regularly; do not over water.

Mature Height 4 – 6 feet (1.2 – 1.8 m)
Mature Spread 4 – 8 feet (1.2 – 2.4 m)
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Mounding
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Flower Color White
Fall Color Yellow to Red
Foliage Color Gray Green
Zones 2-7

2. Juneberry / Serviceberry – Shadblow
Amelanchier canadensis

Shadblow Serviceberry, (Amelanchier canadensis), is a large upright shrub that contains beautiful snowy white flowers in the spring before the foliage appears. The Shadblow produces sweet red-purple edible fruit that can be used in pies and jellies. This shrub spreads by sucker growth from the roots and the blue-green foliage turns yellow to red in the fall.

Mature Height 20 – 25 feet (6.0 – 7.6 m)
Mature Spread 10 – 15 feet (3.0 – 4.6 m)
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Upright
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Flower Color Snowy White
Fall Color Yellow to Red
Foliage Color Gray Green
Zones 4-8

Click Here: To purchase or get more information about Juneberries / Serviceberries

Other Helpful Articles:

How To Successfully Grow Wonderful Berries – Part 1

Successfully Grow Berries – Part 2

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

 

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