A low tree 15 to 20 ft high, or more often a shrub. Leaves roundish oval, very downy and pure white beneath when young, becoming nearly or quite glabrous at maturity, 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide; the margin sometimes quite entire, but usually more or less toothed, especially towards the apex. Racemes erect, carrying few but large white flowers often 11⁄2 in. in diameter. Petals narrowly oblong; calyx covered with loose floss at first, its lobes triangular. Fruit at first red, then black, covered with a purplish bloom; about the size of a black currant, eatable but not very palatable.
Native of the mountains of Central and S. Europe; of unrecorded introduction, but in cultivation early in the eighteenth century. It has the largest individual flowers of all the amelanchiers commonly seen in cultivation, but not so large as in A. cusickii (q.v. under A. florida) or some forms of A. sanguinea. It is very beautiful in late April and early May.
var. cretica (Willd.) Bean A. vulgaris var. cretica (Willd.) Boiss. A. cretica (Willd.) DC. – A shrub covered with a close white down on leaf, young wood, calyx, and flower-stalk. Native of the E. Mediterranean.
var. integrifolia (Boiss. & Hohen.) Bean A. vulgaris var. integrifolia (Boiss. & Hohen.) Boiss. – Leaves always entire.