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The Service Berry


Amelanchier Canadensis, T. & G.

The Eastern service-berry, June-berry, or shad-bush, is often seen in parks and on lawns; its delicate, purple brown branches covered in April, before the oval leaves ap pear, with loose, drooping clusters of white flowers. (See illustration, page 182 .) Under each is a pair of red silky bracts and the infant leaves are red and silky, all adding their warmth of color when the tree is white with bloom. The blossoms pass quickly, just about the time the shad run up the rivers to spawn. We may easily trace this common name to the early American colonists who frugally fished the streams when the shad were running, and noted the charming little trees lighting up the river banks with their delicate blossoms, when all the woods around them were still asleep. In June the juicy red berries call the birds to

a feast. Then the little tree quite loses its identity, for the forest is roofed with green, and June-berries are quite over shadowed by more self-assertive species.

The borders of woods in rich upland soil, fron New foundland to the Dakotas and south to the Gulf, are the habitat and range of this charming little tree.

little and tree