This is a genus of ornamental shrubs, or small trees, of which one or two species are conspicuous ornaments of our woods and swamps in May. Mr. Emerson, in his "Trees of Massachusetts," says, that "There are two remarkable distinct varieties of A.Canadensis, or Swamp Pyrus, of Torrey and Gray, found in Massachusetts. Both are called the Shad Bush, from flowering when the shad begin to ascend the streams. The first is called,
"A, botryapium, - or June Berry. - This is a small, graceful tree, from fifteen to twenty feet high, with a few slender, distant branches, usually growing in upland woods. It has large white flowers, in pendulous racemes, expanding about the first of May, or a little later, according to the season, just as the leaves are beginning to open, with small, purple or faint crimson bracts at the base of the partial flower-stalks, and often near the flowers. The union of the crimson or purple of the scales and stipules with the pure white flowers, and the glossy, silken, scattering pairs of the opening leaves, give delicate beauty to this early, welcome promise of the woods.
"A. ovalis. - Swamp Sugar Pear. - This is a smaller tree 19 than the preceding, but sometimes rises twelve or fifteen feet high. It is usually, however, a shrub."
The general appearance of both is similar, but it appears that there are botanical distinctions sufficient to arrange them in two species. They are deserving a place in every shrubbery.
A. sanguinea, - or Scarlet-wooded Amelanchier, - bears a strong resemblance to the Snowy Mespilus, and is very ornamental. It seldom grows over four feet.
A. florida. - This species bears a good deal of resemblance to the sanguinea, except in the racemes of flowers, which are produced after the manner of the bird-cherry.