© Charlotte Staub Thomas

Western Serviceberry

Amelanchier alnifolia

THE EXPEDITION DELIGHTED in eating various small fruits when available, which they compared to familiar ones from home. In addition to serviceberries, Lewis noted gooseberries, chokecherries, cranberries, nannyberries, huckleberries, strawberries, haws, and purple, red, black, and yellow currants. Serviceberries are found across northern North America and were observed by various members of the expedition along much of the way. By the time they reached the mountains in the summer of 1805, they were seeing a species new to botanists. That species is known today as Amelanchier alnifolia, western or Saskatoon serviceberry.

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