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Pidgeon berry Amelanchier alnifolia

Previously known as:

  • A. florida
Phonetic Spelling
am-eh-LAN-kee-er al-nih-FOH-lee-ah
Description

This variety of serviceberry is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 30 feet tall, although typically its height will be in the 3 to 18-foot range.  Before it leafs out in the spring, clusters of small, white flowers emerge.  The fragrant blooms may last as long as a month.  

Its small, sweet berries, that ripen in early summer, are edible by both humans and wildlife.  It has been developed for commercial fruit production.  It can be eaten fresh, or in the preparation of pies and muffins, or dried similar to raisins.  It can also be used in jellies, wines, and cider.  Birds, including ruffed grouse, dove several varieties of woodpeckers, and mammals enjoy the fruit and use the dense growth for shelter.  The twigs and leaves contain cyanide compounds and if eaten in large quantities by animals such as cattle, goats, and sheep, it can be a fatal poison.

Suckers can form colonies.  The suckers can also be used as a means of propagation through layering or separation.

Arrows and pipe stems can be made from the shoots of this plant.

Its natural habitat includes moist stream banks, drier hillsides, swamps, thickets, and open wooded areas.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Cedar-apple rust, leaf spot, fireblight, brown rot, canker, powdery mildew, and black leaf can damage this plant.  Insects include apids, thrips, mites, bud moths, and sawflies.

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Altaglow'
    Narrow hatbit to 23' tall. Seldom suckers. Self-sterile. Berries creamy-white, sparse. Fall color magnificent golden,red,pruple.
  • 'Northline'
    Medium shrub, 6-10'
  • 'Regent'
    Compact shrub
  • 'Smoky'
    15' tall, suckers freely, large fruit
  • 'Thiessen'
    To 16' tall; columnar, becoming roundish. Fruit abundant, juicy and large.
Tags:
#white#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#white flowers#shrub#red leaves#yellow leaves#spring flowers#cpp#spring interest#edible garden#summer fruits
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Altaglow'
    Narrow hatbit to 23' tall. Seldom suckers. Self-sterile. Berries creamy-white, sparse. Fall color magnificent golden,red,pruple.
  • 'Northline'
    Medium shrub, 6-10'
  • 'Regent'
    Compact shrub
  • 'Smoky'
    15' tall, suckers freely, large fruit
  • 'Thiessen'
    To 16' tall; columnar, becoming roundish. Fruit abundant, juicy and large.
Tags:
#white#deciduous#fall color#full sun#partial shade#white flowers#shrub#red leaves#yellow leaves#spring flowers#cpp#spring interest#edible garden#summer fruits
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amelanchier
    Species:
    alnifolia
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western and Central North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds, bees, butterflies and small mammals
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    The fruit is edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 18 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Juicy, sweet, edible fruit ripens in early summer, are 0.3 to 0.5 inches, and are bluish-purple in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The compact clusters of white flowers appear in spring and are 0.75 inches. The flowers emerge before the shrubs leaves appear.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The light green leaves have a variable fall color of red/ yellow, which remains for an extended period of time. Wedge-shaped to sub-cordate at the base, rounded at the tip. Gray-pubescent on the lower surface.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    A single-trunked shrub, reaching up to 30' tall.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Specialized Bees
    Problems:
    Short-lived