CPC Plant Profile: Nantucket Shadbush
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Plant Profile

Nantucket Shadbush (Amelanchier nantucketensis)

Cream-colored flowers are produced on racemes in May and early June. Photo Credit: Tom Ward
Description
  • Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • State: MA, MD, ME, NJ, NS, NY, VA
  • Nature Serve ID: 134869
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Amelanchier nantucketensis, an endemic of the Atlantic Coast, has a very restricted distribution area (Crow 1985). This species is a low growing, slender shrub that forms large, dense colonies or small clumps by way of producing underground stolons (Seymour 1989). It can be found in sunny, sandy areas, and produces cream-colored flowers in May and early June. Small, dark-blue berries appear in July and August. The Arnold Arboretum is cultivating this species as part of the Center for Plant Conservation's National Collection of rare and endangered plants.

Participating Institutions
Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/17/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted the Native Plant Trust to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 10/02/2020
  • Propagation Research

The Arnold Arboretum has studied propagation techniques for the species: Propagation from seed: Fruits should be picked from the plants immediately on ripening, clean seed, 3-months cold stratification. Propagation by softwood cuttings: in June-July in 50/50 sand-perlite mix under mist, treated by 5,000 ppm K-IBA.

  • 10/02/2020
  • Genetic Research

A study in pollination ecology (Dibble et al. 1997) found that Amelanchier nantucketensis is pollinated by bees that prefer large floral patches. Since floral density for this clonal plant is likely to be one genetic individual, bee preference for large patches may thwart genetic outcrossing and make genetic conservation problematic (Dibble and Camble 1995).

  • 10/02/2020
  • Reproductive Research

A study in pollination ecology (Dibble et al. 1997) found that Amelanchier nantucketensis is pollinated by bees that prefer large floral patches. Since floral density for this clonal plant is likely to be one genetic individual, bee preference for large patches may thwart genetic outcrossing and make genetic conservation problematic (Dibble and Camble 1995).

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Small range with 50-60 known occurrences, widespread and fairly common on Nantucket. Plant is clonal, often forming large patches. Therefore individual plants are relatively few.

Irina Kadis
  • 01/01/2010

Irresponsible and uncontrolled development of vacation and retirement housing and recreation at vulnerable coastal habitats. This shrub's survival totally depends on existence of these rare habitats, with which it is associated. (MANHP 2002). Restric

Irina Kadis
  • 01/01/2010

On Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, 38 populations have been vouchered and 6 others were historically reported. Two populations are known from on Long Island, New York. (MANHP 2002)

Irina Kadis
  • 01/01/2010

A study in pollination ecology (Dibble et al. 1997) found that Amelanchier nantucketensis is pollinated by bees that prefer large floral patches. Since floral density for this clonal plant is likely to be one genetic individual, bee preference for large patches may thwart genetic outcrossing and make genetic conservation problematic (Dibble and Camble 1995). The Arnold Arboretum has studied propagation techniques for the species: Propagation from seed: Fruits should be picked from the plants immediately on ripening, clean seed, 3-months cold stratification. Propagation by softwood cuttings: in June-July in 50/50 sand-perlite mix under mist, treated by 5,000 ppm K-IBA.

Irina Kadis
  • 01/01/2010

No formal management plan has been designed.

Irina Kadis
  • 01/01/2010

A management plan needs to be designed and implemented. Research needs include understanding general habitat requirements for each plant life stage.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Amelanchier nantucketensis
Authority Bicknell
Family Rosaceae
CPC Number 6022
ITIS 182047
USDA AMNA2
Common Names Nantucket juneberry | Nantucket shadbush | Nantucket serviceberry
Associated Scientific Names Amelanchier nantucketensis | Amelanchier oblongifolia var. micropetala | Amelanchier nantucketense
Distribution From Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, MA to Long Island, NY (Dibble and Cambell 1995).
State Rank
State State Rank
Massachusetts S3
Maryland S1
Maine S2
New Jersey none
Nova Scotia S1
New York S1
Virginia S1
Habitat

This is a coastal plain plant of sunny, dry habitats on sandy soil, such as pine barrens, plain grasslands, dry moors. Responding positively to periodic disturbance, such as fire, cutting, or grazing, it thrives in such habitats as abandoned old fields, roadsides, pond edges (Dibble and Cambell 1995).

Ecological Relationships

Fruits are most desirable for song birds, small mammals. Fruits ripen gradually during the summer.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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