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AMELANCHIER laevis

Image of Amelanchier laevis

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

AMELANCHIER laevis

Plant Common Name

Allegheny Serviceberry

General Description

This exceptional small tree is admired for its beautiful spring flowers, edible summer berries and glorious fall color. Allegheny serviceberry is a North American native that is naturally distributed from the Canadian province of Newfoundland southward to the states of Georgia and Alabama, so hardiness depends a lot on regional germplasm. This multi-stemmed deciduous small tree to large shrub usually inhabits moist open woods and meadows and tends to sucker and spread over time.

Bronzy new leaves awaken in spring alongside its delicate white spring flowers. The simple oval leaves quickly turn medium green and in fall burst into glorious shades of red, yellow and orange. The showy flowers are white, five-petaled and held in pendent clusters. They are pollinated by bees and followed by small, round, berries that turn from rosy red to blue-black by summer. The fruit is edible to people and wildlife alike. In winter, its smooth gray bark adds stark winter interest.

Allegheny serviceberry grows best in full to partial sun and fertile, organic-rich soil. It is not too pH sensitive but does tend to favor slightly acid soil. It has a naturally attractive vase-shaped habit and should only be pruned lightly and selectively as needed. It tends to sucker and suckers should be removed from plants placed in more formal settings.

This is an ideal small tree for smaller landscapes and woodland gardens. It is also suitable for large foundation plantings. Its smooth bark and white flowers are best viewed against a background of evergreens. The popular cultivar 'Cumulus' has a more narrow, upright form.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Rose, Dark Blue, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Purple, Light Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Green, Orange

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • 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

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes