This post has nothing to do with business law. Instead, it deals with one of my extracurricular interests, plants native to Indiana. Specifically, it’s about serviceberries, of which there are several species in the genus Amelanchier. Serviceberries have been at their peak this last week in central Indiana, as much as two weeks behind those in southern Indiana, and I suspect those in northern Indiana probably trail by as much as another couple of weeks.
Most species of serviceberries grow on small, usually multi-stemmed, trees. At least one species or another is native to most of the United States and Canada, but they go by several different common names in different regions. In some parts of the U.S., they’re called Juneberries. In Canada, Saskatoon berries. The old-fashioned southern name that I learned from my grandparents in Tennessee is sarvis berry. Other names for the trees are shadbush, shadblow, and shadwood. Many of the species are very similar and difficult to distinguish, with identification complicated by the fact that many sold in nurseries are hybrids. We have four trees in our yard that we bought from a nursery several years ago, and I don’t know what species they are.
Serviceberry trees have become popular for landscaping in the last 20 years or so. They’re often seen lining sidewalks and outside shopping malls, and they’re good choices for residential landscaping. Even though they bear fruit, the berries don’t create a mess in the yard, partly because birds eat them so quickly. In Indiana, the white blooms appear in April. They’re a good alternative to another native tree that blooms about the same time, flowering dogwood, which is more showy but more difficult to grow in Indiana, the northernmost part of its native range. According to the Colorado Supreme Court, the leaves of serviceberry trees also make good grazing for sheep. (Okay, I needed something to connect this post with the law, and that’s all I could find!)