A low shrub usually 2 to 3 (rarely more than 6) ft high. Leaves oval or slightly ovate, 1 to 2 in. long, tapering towards both ends, sharply toothed nearly to the base, almost glabrous from the commencement, but with some loose floss on the surfaces and edges when expanding. Flowers pure white, 3⁄4 to 1 in. across; solitary, in pairs, sometimes in threes or fours, on short lateral twigs, each flower on a slender stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Petals rounded, obovate, 1⁄4 in. wide, broader in proportion to their length than in the other amelanchiers; top of ovary densely woolly. Fruit pear-shaped or oblong, dark purple, nearly 1⁄2 in. long, not so wide. Bot. Mag., t. 8499.
Native of Canada, Newfoundland, and the northern United States, and the most northerly of the amelanchiers, inhabiting cold swamps and mountain bogs. It is extremely rare in cultivation, the plant usually supplied by nurserymen for this species being a form of A. arborea. It is easily distinguished by its few-flowered inflorescence and the rounded petals; and differs from all other species in cultivation by the prussic acid odour of the bark when bruised – like that of many cherries and almonds. A specimen in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley has reached a height of 12 ft. It appears to be the true species.