Plant Common Name
Common Serviceberry, Downy Serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadbush
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).
AHS Heat Zone
9 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 9
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6
Full Sun, Partial Sun
20'-50' / 6.1m - 15.2m (30)
10'-25' / 3.0m - 7.6m
United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall
Edible, Feature Plant, Foundation, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees
Sharp or Has Thorns