The name derives from the ancient French name of A. ovalis. The genus includes small trees or large shrubs, deciduous, rustic, cultivated for their decorative properties: at the beginning of spring the freshly sprouted leaves are copper-colored; white or rarely rosé flowers; and in autumn the foliage is colored with golden red.
Cultivated species of Amelanchier:
A. ovalis (A. vulgaris), corvino pear, is a small tree of about 3 meters, widespread throughout central and southern Europe. In Italy it is spontaneous in the hilly and mountainous areas, where it blooms in April with white flowers, and bears fruit at the end of the summer or in the first autumn; the dark red, almost blackish, fruits are edible. All the other species are native to North America: Amelanchier alnifolia, about 6 m tree, with white flowers in racemes erected in April, followed by the formation of sweet red and edible berries; A. canadensis (m 6-9), with small and fleeting white flowers, very abundant in April, and with berries of indefinite flavor in June; the young leaves are fluffy, and in autumn they are brightly colored; Amelanchier laevis (m 6-9), very similar to the canadensis, but the young leaves are smooth and red; the flowers are white, in May; A. grandiflora (m 3-5) is a hybrid of laevis and canadensis; the var. rubescens has pink flowers; A. oblongifolia (m 3-5), shrub with white flowers in April; A. stolonifera, a low spreading shrub (m 1-1.5), with white flowers in April.
all these species adapt to all types of soil, including calcareous soil. They are obtained by seed, collecting the berries when they are ripe, before they are caught by birds, which are greedy; they are sown in spring. The bushy species can be divided in autumn.
Read also: Amaryllis (Amaryllidaceae)