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Amelanchier is often confused with:
Amelanchier x grandiflora Amelanchier x grandiflora
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Amelanchier arborea Form in the spring, flowers appear before the leaves.
Halesia carolina Full Form
Amelanchier has some common insect problems:
Mealybugs

Saskatoon Amelanchier

Previously known as:

  • Amelancus
  • Aronia
Phonetic Spelling
am-uh-LAN-kee-er
Description

Serviceberry prefers acidic, evenly moist soils in partial shade, with some morning sun.  It will tolerate clay soil. 

It is one of the first to flower in the spring, just before the dogwoods.  The common name serviceberry comes because it blooms as soon as the ground starts to thaw, and it is blooming when people were able to dig graves and bury their dead after the winter.  It also derives the common name of Shadbush and Shadblow due to the fact that the masses of flowers tend to open at the same time that shad ascend the rivers in early spring to spawn.  

The flowers and later fruits dropping on the ground can be high maintenance.

It is a multitrunked shrub or small tree with a rounded crown.  In the wild, it can grow significantly larger than in the landscape.  It forms root suckers, and if allowed to grow, will result in the plant growing as a shrub rather than a tree.  Over time, the suckers will cause the plant to form a small colony.  Pruning should be done in the fall in order to avoid excessive loss of sap.

Often found growing in open woods, slopes, and bluffs.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Fireblight, fungal leaf spot may affect the plants' overall health.  Rust and powdery mildew are also issues.  It becomes chlorotic in alkaline soils and does not tolerate wind.  Rabbits will often destroy the seedlings.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
A. alnifolia, A. arborea, A. canadensis, A. laevis, A. obovalis, A. spicata, A. x grandiflora
Tags:
#fragrant#white#deciduous#fall color#small tree#bark#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#tree#native shrub#winter interest#fall interest#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#food source#messy#cpp#spring interest#early spring flowers#larval host plant#clay soils tolerant#ebh#ebh-fn
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
A. alnifolia, A. arborea, A. canadensis, A. laevis, A. obovalis, A. spicata, A. x grandiflora
Tags:
#fragrant#white#deciduous#fall color#small tree#bark#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#tree#native shrub#winter interest#fall interest#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#food source#messy#cpp#spring interest#early spring flowers#larval host plant#clay soils tolerant#ebh#ebh-fn
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amelanchier
    Family:
    Roseaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Africa, Northern America and Asia-Temperate
    Distribution:
    ME to IA, south to northern FL
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are attractive to birds. 120 species of Lepidoptera (caterpillars that turn into butterflies or moths) feed on the tree. Attracts native bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Mildly resistant to deer damage
    Edibility:
    Tasty fruits, similar in flavor to blueberries, edible raw or cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-trunked
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Edible berry-like pome starts green and turns to red and then blue-black. The fruit bears some resemblance to blueberries. They are edible and can be used in jams and jellies.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Short-lived (10 days) lightly fragrant white, drooping racemes 2"-4" long bloom early spring just before dogwoods. Flower parts are in multiples of fives. The flowers appear in the spring just before the leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Simple, alternate, serrate margins, elliptical to ovate 1"-3" long; not very distinct. Has rounded to cordate base, acute apex. Good yellow-orange to red-orange fall color. The young leaves are covered with soft hairs that disappear as the leaf matures.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Ridges
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray, and smooth with longitudinal fissures that are striated and ridged at maturity. It often has a reddish, brownish cast. It provides winter interest.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Pointed buds have overlapping scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Shade Tree
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Problems:
    Messy