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A fruit of many names, juneberries are also known as service berries, saskatoon, and shadbush. Native to the northern United States and Canada, there are two main species of juneberries: Amelanchier Alnifolia, the high-yielding species typically used for cultivation; and Amelanchier Canadensis, the wild North American shrub which can grow up to 25 feet. Regardless of species, juneberries thrive in cold climates and, unlike blueberries, do not require acidic soil. In fact, juneberries are able to tolerate a soil pH ranging from 4.8-8.0 (although they perform best in 6.0-7.0 pH). Juneberries can also be grown in a wide variety of soil textures.
The plants flower in early spring, providing an early source of pollen for native pollinators. The flowers emit a pleasant odor similar to beans or meat, which is perhaps indicative of the berries' high protein content. The plants are self-fertile, which means only one variety is needed for a fruit set. We grow the Regent variety at Blue Fruit Farm, which is of the Alnifolia species. We found the Regent shrubs to be highly productive and to produce excellent quality fruits. But there are other new varieties you can try!
Not surprisingly, juneberries typically ripen in late June into early July. Their season is short. Birds love Juneberries so bird protection is essential. We have overhead netting.
Remember: if you want to grow Juneberries, be sure to purchase Amelanchier Alnifolia (which grows to 4-6 ft) rather than Amelanchier Canadensis (which grow 20-25 ft).
Wonderfully healthy, Juneberries are an excellent source of iron, as well as high levels of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have significant levels of iron, Vitamin C and B vitamins, with traces of biotin which is a B Vitamin that aids in converting food into energy and is also promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair. They have about the same level of Vitamin A and E as blueberries.
Often confused with blueberries due to their mild and sweet flavor, the berries have also been compared to black cherries and blackberries. The fruits are wonderful when eaten fresh, and lend themselves to any recipe in which you would typically use blueberries. Muffins, salads, pies, and jams – you name it! They are also easily frozen or dried.