Gerald L. Klingaman
Plant Common Name
Canadian Serviceberry, Shadblow Serviceberry
The graceful multi-stemmed habit of shadblow serviceberry, white spring flowers, edible summer fruits and bright fall foliage brings much to the landscape. A native of the eastern North America, it is a large deciduous shrub or small tree that spreads by suckers and naturally resides in wetlands, such as bogs or swamps, though it is also commonly found in moist woods and stream sides. It is very hardy and many cultivated varieties exist for garden culture. Its berry-like summer fruits are edible and used to make preserves and pies.
The simple green leaves of shadblow are oval with finely serrated edges. When they first emerge they are woolly and whitish and turn deep green by late spring, losing most of their wooly hairs. Small showy white or palest pink flowers are held in clusters and appear in spring before the leaves emerge. The bee-pollinated blooms are followed by edible berries that turn from red to deep purplish black. They are flavorful and much sought after by wildlife as well as people. Cool autumn days turn the leaves shades of yellow and red, giving the overall plant canopy a look of a well-colored peach.
Shadblow serviceberry prefers moist soils with average to poor drainage and an acid pH. Despite its preference to lowland situations, it adapts very nicely to upland garden sites too. For best flowering, fruiting and habit, provide it with full to partial sun. This multi-branched shrubby tree makes a lovely addition to woodland gardens, waterside settings, moist areas and shrub borders. If placed in front of a dark evergreen hedge or grove, the white flowers are much showier.
AHS Heat Zone
7 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
6'-30' / 1.8m - 9.1m
15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m
Early Spring, Spring
North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Canada
Bog Garden, Edible, Feature Plant, Foundation, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Street Trees
Sharp or Has Thorns