E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex M. Roem. var. alnifolia
prairie saskatoon
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia
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Species Information

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General:
Shrub or rarely a small tree, 1-6 (10) m tall; stems slender, smooth; twigs smooth, reddish-brown; bark greyish to red-brown; sometimes spreading by rhizomes or stolons and forming dense colonies.
Leaves:
Alternate, deciduous, oval to oblong-elliptic or nearly round, saw-toothed mostly on top half but sometimes nearly entire, broadly rounded to somewhat squared-off at the tip, smooth to variously hairy at least below; blades 2-5 cm long, stalks 0.5-2 cm long.
Flowers:
Inflorescences short, drooping to erect, leafy or bracted, terminal racemes at the ends of branches; flowers 3 to 20, on slender ascending stalks; corollas white, the petals 5, linear to lanceolate, 6-25 mm long; calyces 5-lobed, the lobes lance-triangular, 1-5 mm long, the hypanthium 1-2 mm long; ovaries inferior, smooth or hairy on top; stamens about 20.
Fruits:
Berry-like pomes (like miniature apples), crowned with the persistent calyx, globe- to egg-shaped, 5-14 mm long, dull red initially, becoming purple to nearly black, with a white bloom.
Notes:
Four intergrading varieties occur in BC:

1. Petals less than 12 mm long; tops of ovaries strongly hairy.

2. Flowers generally with 4 styles; leaves entire or with a few tiny teeth near tips................. var. humptulipensis (G.N. Jones) C.L. Hitchc.

2. Flowers generally with 5 styles; leaves usually strongly toothed on upper half..................... var. alnifolia

1. Petals over 12 mm long; tops of ovaries hairy or smooth.

3. Petals generally less than 16 mm long and 4 mm wide; calyx lobes averaging less than 3 mm long; top of ovary woolly....................var. semiintegrifolia (Hook.) C.L. Hitchc.

3. Petals generally greater than 16 mm long and up to 8.5 mm wide; calyx lobes averaging more than 3 mm long; top of ovary smooth to moderately hairy...................... var. cusickii (Fern.) C.L. Hitchc.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic, open rocky slopes, bluffs, gullies, thickets, forest margins and open forests in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout BC, especially in C and S BC, east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, E to AB and S to CA, NE, ND, CO and AZ.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 660 660 660
Slope Gradient (%) 65 65 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
146 145 146
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
B
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
1
Modal BEC Zone Class
SBS
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: SBS(1)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References