I am ready for spring. So, I decided to look into what I can look forward to seeing first. One of the first plants to bloom at Grayson Highlands State Park is amerlanchier arberea. And if you are anything like me, that means nothing to you. But when I started looking into it, I found a plant that is very interesting and well known.
This plant is also known by several other names that you might know as well. Other names are serviceberry, juneberry, or shadbush.
This perennial is listed as a tree/shrub with an active growing season of spring and summer. The height at 20 years of growth can maximize at 25 feet! This plant has a five petaled bloom that is white, much like the apple blossom. As the growing season continues the foliage turns into a dark green. It also produced a small red (unripe) and blue (ripe) berry. When mature the berries resemble blueberries Berries are good to eat at both stages.
But why is this plant known by so many different names? According to "Wildman" Steve Brill:
The shrub is called the juneberry because the fruit ripens in June. It's also called serviceberry because it blooms when in mid-April, when long-delayed religious services were held throughout 19th century New England, as snow covered roads became accessible again. But not everyone was religious, and others would just as soon go fishing, especially when the first run of shad migrated upstream from the ocean, heralded by the blooming shadbush.
What is the first plant to bloom in your area?