Montana Outdoors

May 20, 2018

Saskatoons

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:18 pm

Sascatoon, Western Serviceberry

Saskatoons, Western Service berries

Saskatoon, Western Serviceberry ~ amelanchier alnifolia

These blossoms are among my favorites for three reasons. They are pretty in their own right, the shrubs get up to 15 feet tall and decorate the spring landscape with large splashes of white in the spring, and the berries are my favorite of all the wild berries (despite containing a lot of small seeds).

The plump purple berries have a light taste, but at their peak of ripeness they are sweet and juicy with a taste that is unexplainably pleasant. The locals here call them Service Berries and pronounce it “Sarvice Berries” for some reason I never did understand. The best way to eat them is not one berry at a time, but to pick a whole big handful and pop them in your mouth all at once. You will experience a big rush of their unique flavor and juicy sweetness.

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32 Comments »

  1. Mmmm…Saskatoon pie, Saskatoon syrup, Saskatoon berries on ice cream or cereal, and my favourite, Saskatoon crisp. We would pick these for hours when I was a kid. Then later in the year we’d pick chokecherries. They make the best jelly for toast, ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candice — May 20, 2018 @ 9:23 pm

    • I’ve never tried to make anything from the saskatoon berries, just enjoy them by the handful when they are ripe.
      The chokecherries are in full bloom here now. It looks like a very good year for them I agree that they make the best jelly that I know of. And syrup!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

  2. I agree with you in terms of Saskatoon berries’ amazing taste – they are my very favorite of all berries as well. We used to pick them a lot in Northern Saskatchewan where I grew up. My mother used to make Saskatoon Berry crumble … so good!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by juliemjm — May 20, 2018 @ 10:03 pm

    • The crumble sure sounds good. I may try making that this year. Judging by the ones in bloom, this should be a very good year for them and they are usually plentiful in this area.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 20, 2018 @ 10:17 pm

  3. ….now I’m getting hungry. I’ve never hear of Saskatoon Berries but they sound delicious. Your images are lovely (and the second one makes me even hungrier) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — May 21, 2018 @ 12:17 am

    • I wish you could try them. Here their range covers most of the northern US, western Canada as well as further north.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 7:35 am

  4. Around here in Europe, some Almelanchier-varieties became known as a garden tree, but they are not very often, so it is a race with the birds to catch a handfull of the delicious berries in my garden. I wish, someday they will be enough for a crumlbe. Must be wonderful to live in your area. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by puzzleblume — May 21, 2018 @ 1:14 am

    • They are popular with birds here, even in late summer and fall when the berries have dried up. They are so plentiful here naturally that I have not seen them cultivated.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 7:39 am

  5. That is one berry I’ve never eaten (at least to my knowledge). What size are they – similar in size to a blueberry or small like a huckleberry? I saw in a comment, the reader mentioned chokecherries. That’s something I haven’t had in many, many years. My grandma and mom made chokecherry jelly when I was just a child and it was so good. I don’t see or even hear people here talking about chokecherries anymore. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 21, 2018 @ 6:32 am

    • The berries are similar to blueberries in size, but the shrubs or trees get quite tall and produce large quantities of berries at the tips of the branches.
      Chokecherries are now in full bloom now too. I seldom see anyone harvesting Saskatoons, but every year folks here will pick chokecherries for their juice which is made into syrup and ejlly, even candy sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 7:43 am

  6. You have honored them with your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hanna — May 21, 2018 @ 6:39 am

    • Thank you Hanna! They are beautiful when in bloom and of course very useful for their fruit for people and birds alike.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 7:45 am

  7. We called them Saskatoons and as kids we picked them all the time they were ripe. It was our snack when we were outside playing. They grew all around us on the outskirts of Dawson Creek (northern BC).

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 21, 2018 @ 8:46 am

    • They grow all around me here too and I also ate them when I was a kid. Still love them!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 9:21 am

  8. I see the flowers all the time on our eastern version but I never see the berries. I think the birds snap them up pretty quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 21, 2018 @ 3:31 pm

    • There are so many of them here that the birds don’t even make a dent in their numbers until the very end of summer. And that makes me happy!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 8:41 pm

  9. I learned something new… Thank you! I had not heard of these berries before…

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mother Hen — May 21, 2018 @ 8:35 pm

    • I have read that sometimes people plant them at nome for the blossoms and berries but here they are plentiful in their natural state.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 21, 2018 @ 9:11 pm

  10. They look delicious! I’ve never heard of them before … Super images too

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — May 22, 2018 @ 2:15 am

    • Yes, they are delicious! I think they are native only to the western part of the US, Canada and further north.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2018 @ 9:10 pm

  11. Yummy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by dhphotosite — May 22, 2018 @ 7:37 pm

    • You bet! I’m looking forward to the fruit now that the blossoms have been plentiful this year.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 22, 2018 @ 9:10 pm

  12. good to know how we are to eat them 😉 I will give it a try. I think the flowering bushes are beautiful and I love watching the birds eat the berries.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tammie — May 23, 2018 @ 1:56 pm

    • My bet is that you will love them! I’m looking forward to that myself.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 23, 2018 @ 6:34 pm

  13. Very interested. I have never hear of Saskatoon Berries, but first time is first time. Love Your text and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — May 24, 2018 @ 2:39 am

    • I think their range is just in the western US and Canada, but they are popular here at least among the older population.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 24, 2018 @ 9:14 am

    • That’s not meant to be the longest link in the world — teach me to answer the phone and type at the same time!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by shoreacres — May 24, 2018 @ 6:49 am

    • Thanks for doing that research. It explains something I’ve never understood, why folks call it Sarvis berry. Now I have to wonder about the connection between the Ozarks and northwestern Montana. That one is a different species too but apparently the same basic plant.

      On a similar note, I’ve also wondered why the locals here have always called the Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) “Dog Tooth Violet”. There is a similar looking plant whose common name actually is Dog Tooth Violet (Erythronium americanum) that is found only east of the Mississippi river.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 24, 2018 @ 9:26 am


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