Local Wild Plant Profile: Juneberry

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Juneberry

Juneberry (Amelanchier) is an easy-to-find multi-stemmed shrub or tree found widely across Michigan. Also known as Serviceberries, Juneberries are widely planted as ornamental trees but also occur in the wild. They have blueberry-like fruits that can be harvest in June.

The berries have a flavor that tastes like a combination of apples and blueberries while the seeds have an almond-like taste.

Identification

Juneberries are small shrubs or trees. They have opposite, stalked, oval, toothed, pointed leaves that grow about two inches long. In the spring, white five-petal flowers appear before the berries.

Juneberry leaves
The berries have a crown on the side of the stalk that makes them easy to distinguish. They are about ¼ to 1/3 inch across resembling blueberries. They start red and later turn a blue/black color as they ripen:

Juneberry

Juneberries on a tree.

The trees have a tight and smooth gray bark:

Juneberry Bark

Bark of a Juneberry Tree

 

Harvesting

To harvest Juneberries, simply pull them off the tree. The darker the berries the better they taste, but once they begin to darken they can be eaten even when they are more red than blue/black.

Harvested Juneberries

Harvested Juneberries

The berries can be eaten raw, used in muffins, made into pies, dried, or in most other ways one would eat berries.

 

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