Improvement status: Cultivated wild material
Seeds per packet: ~100
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
Snowy mespilus is a mostly European species of juneberry (or serviceberry), also known as dwarf garden serviceberry. Found from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to the Caucasus, it can be found as high as 9,200 feet above sea level. It has beautifully wispy white blossoms followed by mild-flavored pink-to-purple fruits that are rich in iron and copper (most sources say the best use of the berries is jam, jelly, compote, or alcohol). Like our native juneberries, snowy mespilus is a slow-growing deciduous shrub. Extracts of the leaves, twigs, and bark have medicinal uses due to their high levels of biologically active substances like polyphenols. The berries — unlike many soft fruits — are of no interest to spotted wing drosophila, fruit flies that are devastating various crops of more commonly grown species (like raspberries). The wood is very hard, heavy, fine-grained, and reddish, making it an excellent choice for musical instruments, tool handles, and other small items.
This seed was imported from Ukraine, right in the heart of its natural range, by the good folks at Sheffield's Seed Company in Locke, NY.
GROWING TIPS: Prefers neutral to alkaline soil, and in general can handle quite nutrient-poor soil. It is often used in land restoration for this reason. Seeds should be cold-moist stratified for 90 days, then soaked in water for 24 hours. Sow seed 1/4" deep.