Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Rose Family (Rosaceae). Native shrubs or small trees growing to 7 meters high, variable in growth form, forming thickets, mats, or clumps, the underground portions including a massive root crown, horizontal and vertical rhizomes, and an extensive root system; bark: thin, light brown and tinged with red, smooth or shallowly fissured. Leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate, ovate to nearly round, 2.5-3 cm long, with lateral, parallel veins in 8-13 pairs, the margins coarsely serrate or dentate to below middle or sometimes entire or with only a few small teeth at the top. Flowers are in short, dense, 5-15-flowered, upright racemes, the petals white, 1-2 cm long and strap-like, sepals more or less long-hairy on the inside, reflexing in age, stamens about 20, styles 5, ovary persistently tomentose at the top. Fruit are 6-11 mm long, smooth, purple-black, slightly gray-blue waxy, the pulp fleshy and sweet; seeds 4-10. The common name refers to the city in Saskatchewan, Canada, in the heart of the species’ range.
Variation within the species: Considerable variation is recognized. Var. alnifolia occurs over the whole range of the species, except for California, where only var. semiintegrifolia is found. Other varieties include the following: var. cusickii (Fern.) C.L. Hitchc. and var. humptulipensis (G.N. Jones) C.L. Hitchc.