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AMELANCHIER arborea

Image of Amelanchier arborea

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

AMELANCHIER arborea

Plant Common Name

Common Serviceberry, Downy Serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadbush

General Description

Snowy white flowers fill the branches of downy serviceberry in mid-spring followed by violet-red berries and a bright fall foliage display. A rounded deciduous shrub to small tree, it will produce root suckers and create a shrubby thicket in natural settings. It is native across the whole of eastern North America from Quebec down to Texas. In the wild, this adaptable tree can be found in many sites from lowland wetlands to dry, upland woods and rocky or sandy bluffs. Its slightly tart and sweet reddish blueberry-shaped fruits are called juneberries and can be used to make tasty jam and pie.

In mid-spring, just before the new fuzzy gray leaves begin to emerge, the tree bears its many tiny white flowers in pendent clusters. Each blossom is fragrant and has five thin petals. These are pollinated by insects, primarily bees. The bulbous fruits are a bit larger than a pea and ripen to violet-plum or red and are quickly eaten by wildlife when they appear in summer. The rounded, oval leaves have finely serrated margins and emerge alongside or after the flowers. They are first downy gray and turn medium green. In autumn, the foliage turns beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. The appealing gray winter bark is streaked deep sandy brown and is smooth with shallow fissures.

Grow downy serviceberry in full to partial sun and moderately fertile soil that is moist with average drainage. It is pH adaptable and can withstand many growing environments. Suckers (young sprouts from the roots) will appear and if not clipped away will result in a shrubby thicket. Plant this attractive American native in a naturalistic garden setting. Harvest the fruits for fresh eating or to make jam or pie.

This species is one of the parents of the popular apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora).

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20'-50' / 6.1m - 15.2m (30)

  • Width

    10'-25' / 3.0m - 7.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Violet, Plum

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Orange, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Foundation, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes