Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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service-berries fruits of N. American trees of the genus Amelanchier in the rose family. There are a dozen or so species and several hybrids. The purplish ‘berries’ (not true berries but pomes, i.e. fruits structured like apples or pears, with a core) have a general resemblance to blueberries and vary in edibility from very good to passable. Other names for some of them include sarvisberry, shadbush or shadbloom (because blooming when the shad are running in eastern rivers), juneberry, and (in Canada) saskatoon. This last name usually applies to A. alnifolia, which is evidently the best, since it has far more cultivars than the others. A. canadensis ranks second.