Jennybelle is a select variety of Amelancier obavalis, which is commonly known as snowy Mespilus and is
a serviceberry shrub. It is also called Juneberry. This particular variety is named after Jennybelle, the
daughter of Jack Rice of North Carolina. Amelanchier ovalis is a deciduous shrub or tree growing to 16
feet at a slow rate. It is a very ornamental tree or shrub with multiple seasons of interest. It is used in
beds, borders, hedges and screens. The species is native to central and southern Europe as well as North
Africa and the Middle East, where it is very popular.
The obavalis is the showiest variety. A profusion of snowy-white, erect blossoms 1.5 inches across
appears in May. They are attractive to pollinators. The small fruits ripen simultaneously in clusters in
July. Birds feast on them. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is
pollinated by bees. The plant is self-fertile. Its black and purple pomme fruits are edible and can be
eaten raw or cooked. They are widely used in making jellies. The fruit is rich in iron and copper. They
ripen simultaneously in clusters.
The foliage of small, ovate leaves is green above and covered with a white down beneath when young. It
darkens as the season progresses before turning to brilliant shades of orange, yellow and red in the fall.
The plant remains attractive even after the leaves drop, thanks to its elegant growth habit and its light
grey bark adorned with charcoal striations.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and
basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plants are adaptable to
extreme climate changes and are dependable fruit producers. It is quite resistant against insects and
diseases and is tolerant of dry conditions once established. In sum, it is a low-maintenance tree.
It is hardy to zone 5-7 and is not frost tender.
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