Health benefits of Juneberry ~ Amelanchier canadensis

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Juneberry Quick Facts
Name: Juneberry
Scientific Name: Amelanchier canadensis
Origin Eastern North America in Canada from Newfoundland west to southern Ontario
Colors Initially green turning to red and finally mature to a dark purplish-black
Shapes Small, soft, pome (berry-like) clustered like the flowers on short stalks
Health benefits Stronger Immune System, Younger-Looking Skin, Healthier Gums, Stronger Teeth and Bones, Lowered Heart Disease Risk, Regulated Bowel Movement, Reduced Risk of Cancer, Increased Muscle Strength
Amelanchier canadensis commonly known as Juneberry or serviceberry is a small multiple-stemmed tree or shrub belonging to Rosaceae (Rose family). It belongs in the Rosacea family, meaning that it’s related to roses. It is a genus comprised of more than 20 species of deciduous shrubs. This genus also includes saskatoons, which are grown commercially for fruit production in Canada and the North Central U.S. Unfortunately, saskatoons are not considered winter hardy in Kentucky and have serious leaf spot problems in this region. Most other species of Amelanchier are cultivated for use in landscape plantings; however, several of these ornamental cultivars show potential for fruit production. The plant is native to eastern North America in Canada from Newfoundland west to southern Ontario, and in the United States from Maine south to Alabama. It is largely restricted to wet sites, particularly on the Atlantic coastal plain. Fruit of Juneberry ripens in June, hence the name – Juneberry.

Serviceberry, shadbush, shadblow, sarvice, Juneberry, wild currant, bilberry, Canadian serviceberry, chuckle-berry, currant-tree, shad-blow serviceberry, shadbush, shadbush serviceberry, sugarplum, thicket serviceberry, Canada shadbush, thicket serviceberry, shadblow serviceberry, Snowy-mespilus, Eastern serviceberry, Shadblow, Swamp shadbush, eastern shadbush and downy serviceberry are some of the popular common names of the plant. The Serviceberry genus, Amelanchier, is from the old French word amelancier, the name of A. ovalis from Provence. The species, canadensis, means ‘of Canada’. The common name of ‘Serviceberry’ is derived from the flower clusters being gathered for use in church services in times past. The common name of ‘Shadblow’ comes from the East Coast where the shrub flowers in June at the time of the running of the river herring (Atlantic Shad). Juneberry trees are popular for their beautiful foliage and delicate white flowers. It is used as a medicinal plant, food, and ornamental plant. It is sometimes made into bonsai.

Juneberry Facts

Name Juneberry
Scientific Name Amelanchier canadensis
Native Eastern North America in Canada from Newfoundland west to southern Ontario, and in the United States from Maine south to Alabama. It is largely restricted to wet sites, particularly on the Atlantic coastal plain
Common Names Serviceberry, shadbush, shadblow, sarvice, Juneberry, wild currant, bilberry, Canadian serviceberry, chuckle-berry, currant-tree, shad-blow serviceberry, shadbush, shadbush serviceberry, sugarplum, thicket serviceberry, Canada shadbush, thicket serviceberry, shadblow serviceberry, Snowy-mespilus, Eastern serviceberry, Shadblow, Swamp shadbush, eastern shadbush, downy serviceberry
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Juneberry
Albanian: Juneberry
Amharic: Junīyeri (ጁኒየር)
Arabic: Sharab altawt (شراب التوت)
Armenian: Hunisin (հունիսին)
Azerbaijani: Juneberry, Kanada irqası
Belarusian: Írga kanadskaya (Ірга канадская)
Bengali: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Bulgarian: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Burmese: Jwanl (ဇွန်လ), nain (နင်)
Chinese: -Liù yuè (六月)
Croatian: Juneberry
Czech: Juneberry
Danish: Juneberry
Dutch: Juneberry, Canadees krentenboompje
English: Juneberry, Canadian serviceberry, Shadbush, Snowy-mespilus, Thicket serviceberry, Canada serviceberry, Eastern serviceberry, Shadblow, Swamp shadbush, eastern shadbush, downy serviceberry, shadbush serviceberry
Esperanto: Januaro        
Estonian: Juunior, Kanada toompihlakas              
Filipino: Juneberry
Finnish: Juneberry, Ruotsintuomipihlaja
French: Juneberry, Amélanchier du Canada, Amélanchier canadien
Georgian: Zhurnali (ჟურნალი)
German: Juniberry, Kanadische Felsenbirne
Greek: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Gujarati: Jūnabērī (જૂનબેરી)
Hausa: Juneberry
Hebrew: ג’ונברי
Hindi: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Hungarian: Juneberry, Kanadai fanyarka
Icelandic: Jarðarber
Indonesian: Juneberry
Irish: Lus na gréine
Italian: Juneberry, nespolino del Canadà
Japanese: Juneberī (ジュネベリー)
Javanese: Juneberry
Kannada: Jūnberri (ಜೂನ್ಬೆರ್ರಿ)
Kazakh: Dzhuner  (джунер)
Korean: Jun beli (준 베리)
Kurdish: Juneberry
Lao: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Latin: Catenulis
Latvian: Jūnijs
Lithuanian: Birželis         
Macedonian: Gubre (ѓубре)
Malagasy: Juneberry
Malay: Juneberry
Malayalam: Jūṇbeṟi (ജൂൺബെറി)
Maltese: Ġunju
Marathi: Joonaberee (जूनबेरी)
Mongolian: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē          
Nepali: Joonaberee (जूनबेरी)
Norwegian: Juneberry
Oriya: ଜୁନ୍ବେରୀ
Pashto: جونیری
Persian: جونبری
Polish: Czerwiec
Portuguese: Juneberry
Punjabi: Jūnabērī (ਜੂਨਬੇਰੀ)
Romanian: Juneberry
Russian: -ˈJo͞onˌberē, Irga kanadskaya  (Ирга канадская)
Serbian: Juneberri (јунеберри)
Siddhi: جونبيري
Sinhala: Jūnberi (ජූන්බෙරි)
Slovenian: Junerov
Spanish: Juneberry
Sudanese: Juneberry
Swedish: Juneberry, Kanadensisk häggmispel
Tajik: Codugarī (ҷодугарӣ)
Tamil: Jūṉperri  (ஜூன்பெர்ரி)
Telugu: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Thai: Juneberry-ˈjo͞onˌberē
Turkish: Juneberry
Ukrainian: Yahidnyk (ягідник), irha kanadsʹka  (ірга канадська)
Urdu: جونبیری
Uzbek: Maymunjon
Vietnamese: Tháng sáu
Welsh: Juneberry
Zulu: Juneberry
Plant Growth Habit Small, woody, upright, twiggy, multi-stemmed large deciduous shrub or small tree
Growing Climates Swamps, low ground, woods, thickets, woods, hedgerows, clumps
Soil Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade, but thrives in any soil that is not water-logged, too dry or poor, though it is more wet-tolerant than other members of this genus. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid soil
Plant Size 20 to 30 feet in height with a spread of 15 to 20 feet
Trunk Several smooth, gray trunks that grow up to approximately 26 ft tall (8 m) and 15–20 ft. (5–6 m) wide. They are ash-gray with dark stripes when young, and rough, with long furrows when older
Twigs Slender, flexible, red-brown in color, may be covered with fine hairs when young; buds may be up to 1/2 inch long, pointed, covered with scales, may have hairy margins, light yellow-green to reddish yellow.
Bark Bark is smooth when young, ashy-gray with darker (but faint) stripes; later becoming rough with long splits and furrows on mature stem.
Leaf Alternate, simple, oblong, finely-toothed, rounded at base, and rounded at the apex with a small, sharp projection. They are 3–6 cm long and 2–3 cm wide
Flowering season April
Flower Flowers are produced in early spring in loose racemes 4–6 cm long at the ends of the branches; each raceme has four to ten flowers. The flower has five white petals 7.6–11 mm long and 2–4 mm broad, and 20 stamens.
Fruit Shape & Size Small, soft, pome (berry-like) clustered like the flowers on short stalks
Fruit Color Initially green turning to red and finally mature to a dark purplish-black
Seed Red-colored, large, soft and shaped like teardrops
Lifespan Up to 50 years in the wild.
Season June and July
Health Benefits
  • Stronger Immune System
  • Younger-Looking Skin
  • Healthier Gums
  • Stronger Teeth and Bones
  • Lowered Heart Disease Risk
  • Regulated Bowel Movement
  • Reduced Risk of Cancer
  • Increased Muscle Strength

Plant Description

Juneberry is a small, woody, upright, twiggy, multi-stemmed large deciduous shrub or small tree that normally grows about 20 to 30 feet tall with a spread of 15 to 20 feet. The plant is found growing in swamps, low ground, woods, thickets, hedgerows and clumps. The plant prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade, but thrives in any soil that is not water-logged, too dry or poor, though it is more wet-tolerant than other members of this genus. It grows well in heavy clay soils and prefers an acid soil. The plant has several smooth, gray trunks that grow up to approximately 26 ft. tall (8 m) and 15–20 ft. (5–6 m) wide. They are ash-gray with dark stripes when young, and rough, with long furrows when older. Twigs are slender, flexible, red-brown in color, may be covered with fine hairs when young. Buds may be up to 1/2 inch long, pointed, covered with scales, and may have hairy margins, light yellow-green to reddish yellow. Bark is smooth when young, ashy-gray with darker (but faint) stripes; later becoming rough with long splits and furrows on mature stem.

Leaves

The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong, finely-toothed, rounded at base, and rounded at the apex with a small, sharp projection. They are 3–6 cm long and 2–3 cm wide, with 10–15 pairs of main veins. The tip forms an abrupt point, the base is somewhat rounded and vein pattern is pinnate. The young leaves are covered with a soft, fine hair and will become dark green and smooth with age. The underside of the leaf is covered with soft white hairs. The leaves are folded lengthwise down the middle in the buds rather than arranged in overlapping scales. The leaves will only be half grown during mid-bloom.

Leaf arrangement Alternate
Leaf type Simple
Leaf margin Serrate
Leaf shape Elliptic (oval), oblong
Leaf venation Pinnate, brachidodrome
Leaf type and persistence Deciduous
Leaf blade length Less than 2 inches, 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color Green
Fall color Yellow, orange, red
Fall characteristic Showy

 

Flower

The inflorescence is a short dense raceme, 2 to 3 inches long, at the end of the twigs before the leaves unfurl or with the leaves in the northern part of the plants range. The inflorescence can be quite hairy as the flowers and the new leaves open up. Most hair then drops away and the leaves become smooth on the upper surface.

The flowers of Juneberry are showy. The five white petals of the corolla are narrowly oblong, and the five lobes of the calyx are reflexed at flowering forming 5 conspicuous teeth which are hairy on inside and outside surfaces. Flowers usually have 19 to 21 stamens with yellow-green filaments and yellow anthers and the pistil from the ovary usually has 5 yellow-green styles (6 possible). Flowering normally takes place in between April.

Flower color White/cream/gray
Flower characteristics Very showy

 

Fruits

Fertile flowers are followed by small, soft, pome (berry-like) clustered like the flowers on short stalks. They are initially green turning to red and finally mature to a dark purplish-black in late summer, depending on the species and cultivar. Each pome consists of about 4 to 10 seeds. While Juneberry seeds are larger and more noticeable than those in blueberry, they are soft and not objectionable. Seeds are red-colored, large, soft and shaped like teardrops. Fruits are edible. Seed needs up to 60 days cold stratification to break dormancy. Sow fresh berries or seeds in the fall and let them overwinter.

Although commonly eaten “out of hand,” juneberries are also ideal for jams, syrups, juices, pies, rolls, and sweetbreads. Berries can be dried and marketed as a product similar to raisins.  Juneberry starts to produce fruit 2 to 4 years after planting and reaches the peak (greatest quantity of the produced fruit) between the ages of 12 to 15 years. Under optimal conditions, Juneberry produces fruit until the age of 30 to 50 years.

Fruit shape Round
Fruit length Less than .5 inch
Fruit covering Fleshy
Fruit color Red, purple
Fruit characteristics Attracts birds; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

 

Health benefits of Juneberries

With so many ways to enjoy them, it can be very easy for you to make juneberries a part of your healthy eating habit. It’s for certain that you will enjoy plenty of health benefits for doing so because they are loaded with a variety of nutrients. Some of the benefits that juneberries offer include:

1. Stronger Immune System

Vitamin C is one of the most abundant nutrients you can obtain from juneberries. Needless to say, enjoying these fruits on a regular basis can help in lowering your chance of having an infection, like the common cold and flu. Especially if you are leading a stressful life, strengthening your immune system with juneberries can be advantageous.

2. Younger-Looking Skin

Other than making your immune system strong, vitamin C found abundantly in juneberries also helps make your skin remain looking young. That’s because vitamin is a role player in the synthesis of collagen. So if you want to keep unsightly wrinkles at bay, eat juneberries and other vitamin C-rich foods regularly.

3. Healthier Gums

Being loaded with vitamin C, consuming juneberries on a regular basis can also help keep your smile looking fabulous. It’s for the fact that vitamin C is important for healthy gums. If your gums are in a great shape, then it’s easy to keep your pearly whites strong.

4. Stronger Teeth and Bones

Juneberries consists of good amount of calcium, and this is the reason why adding these blueberry-like fruits in your diet is great for keeping your lovely smile intact. Calcium also helps in strengthening the bones, and that’s why regularly eating juneberries and other calcium-rich foods can help lower your osteoporosis risk.

5. Lowered Heart Disease Risk

Being rich in fiber, juneberries help remove cholesterol in the arteries. Apart from that potassium in juneberries helps lower your blood pressure, which is superb for heart disease prevention.

6. Regulated Bowel Movement

Other than promoting a healthier cardiovascular disease, fiber present plentifully in juneberries also helps in keeping constipation from striking. As a result of consuming juneberries regularly, the removal of waste products and toxins in your GI tract is facilitated. Also, your risk of having hemorrhoids can be lowered.

7. Reduced Risk of Cancer

Juneberries are also very good at lowering a person’s risk of having deadly cancer. It’s for the reason that they’re very rich in antioxidants. In fact, some studies have shown that juneberries actually pack more antioxidants than blueberries and so many other types of berries that a lot of people are more familiar with.

8. Increased Muscle Strength

Scientists say that there is another nutrient that can be found in higher amounts in juneberries than other berries out there, and it is protein. We all know that protein is important for building and repairing muscles, thus it makes you physically strong. By the way, protein is also necessary for the production of enzymes and hormones.

Traditional uses and benefits of Juneberry

  • Tea made from the root bark (mixed with other unspecified herbs) was used as a tonic in the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding and also to treat diarrhea.
  • Bath of the bark tea was used on children with worms.
  • An infusion of the root was used to prevent miscarriage after an injury.
  • A compound concoction of the inner bark was used as a disinfectant wash.
  • The Chippewa, Cherokee, and other Native American tribes used the root-bark to cure diarrhea, indigestion, excessive menstrual bleeding, and to expel worms.
  • Herbal tea can help treat excessive menstrual bleeding, alleviate menstrual pain, and stop diarrhea.
  • An infusion made from the Juneberry tree’s inner bark can also be used as a disinfectant wash.

Culinary Uses

  • Edible fruit can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • It can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc. or dried and used like raisins.
  • When the fruit is thoroughly cooked in puddings or pies the seed imparts an almond flavor to the food.
  • The fruit can be eaten fresh or dried, cooked for jams, or made into wine.

Other Facts

  • Plants can be grown as an informal hedge.
  • Any trimming is best done after flowering.
  • It is a fairly wind-tolerant species; it can be used to give protection from the wind as part of a mixed shelterbelt.
  • Wood can be used for tool handles, small implements etc.
  • It can hold a polish and can be used to make wooden handles, walking sticks, and fishing rods.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=25112#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=2873

https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Amelanchier+canadensis

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=j290

https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_amca4.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier_canadensis

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st074

http://wgb.cimmyt.org/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=451882

http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Amelanchier+canadensis

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=amca4

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/rjp-424

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/AMECA

http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=850

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