Irga (Latin Amelánchier) is a genus of plants of the apple tribe (Maleae) of the rose family (Rosaceae), a deciduous shrub or small tree. The popular name is "korinka", "pyrus".
The word "irga" is attributed to the origin of the Mongolian languages (Mong. irgai, Kalm. jarää) in the meaning of "a shrub with very hard wood".
The scientific name of the genus, Amelanchier, is apparently derived from the Provencal word amelanche, "indicating the honey taste of the fruit." According to N. N. Kadena and N. N. Terentyeva, amelanchier (read amelanchier) is the Provencal name of the plant, derived from amelanche - the name of the fruits of one of the species of irga (round-leaved Irga (Amelanchier ovalis Medik.)). The word is attributed to Celtic origin.
The leaves are simple, rounded or oval, on petioles, finely or coarsely toothed along the edge, dark green above, pale green below, yellow-red or dark red in autumn.
The flowers are numerous, white or cream, collected in corymbose brushes at the ends of the shoots. The ovary is lower. One pestle. Especially abundant flowering and fruiting occurs on the apical shoots of last year.
The fruit is an apple, bluish-black or reddish-purple, with a bluish bloom, up to 10 mm in diameter, edible, sweet, in the middle zone of Russia ripens in July - August.
Fruits contain up to 12% sugars, about 1% acids, 0.5% tannins, about 40% ascorbic acid, carotene, coloring substances.
Relatively recently, the Canadian variety irgi Thyssen appeared, with very large berries
As a fruit plant, irga has been known in Europe since the XVI century. At first it was cultivated in England, then in Holland. The berries were used to make wine resembling cahors. In the XIX century, the first industrial plantings were carried out in the USA and Canada. Irga is very popular there to this day and is cultivated both in private and commercial gardens. The center of breeding work over the past 60 years has been Canada, where varieties have been obtained: "Altaglow" with white fruits, large-fruited "Forestburg", fragrant "Pembina", "Smoky". Winter hardy and sweet ones have proven themselves well: "Moonlake", "Nelson", "Sturgeon", "Slate", "Regent", "Honeywood". In Russia, all these varieties are rare.
Abundant flowering, decorative fruits, exquisite autumn color of leaves, undemanding to soils, drought resistance, early fruitfulness, rapid growth, winter hardiness, annual fruiting - all this makes irgu a very attractive plant for the gardener.
Easily tolerates a haircut, having 15-20 or more growth shoots.
In the northern regions of Russia, it is one of the reliable and hardy rootstocks for dwarf pears and apple trees.
The fruits are eaten fresh, processed into jam, pastille, jelly, wine. Dry fruits are an integral part of compotes and jellies from dried fruits, giving them a beautiful color.