Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Amelanchier laevis


Allegheny serviceberry, Allegheny service-berry, Serviceberry


Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry)
Cressler, Alan
This service-berry is a multiple-trunked tree or shrub, 15-25 ft. tall, with dense, fine-textured branching. White flowers occur in terminal clusters before the leaves appear and are followed by summer berries turning from red to purple or nearly black. Blue-green summer foliage can become orange or red in fall. The bark is smooth and slate-gray with white, longitudinal stripes.

Very easy to grow and provides year-round interest. Berries are edible and juicier than those of the similar A. arborea. Sensitive to drought. Serviceberries are subject to many disease and insect problems, but damage from these problems is usually cosmetic rather than life threatening. The sweet, juicy fruits are edible and rich in iron and copper. (Kershaw)

Native peoples dried the small pomes like raisins or mashed and dried them in cakes. Often the dried fruits were mixed with meat and fat to form pemmican, a light-weight, high-energy food that could support winter travellers for long periods if the diet was supplemented with vitamin C to prevent scurvy. (Kershaw)

Image Gallery:

12 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower:
Fruit: Black, Purple, Red
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec

Distribution

USA: AL , CT , DE , GA , IL , IN , IA , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to s. Ont., s. to DE, KY & IA; also mts. to GA & TN
Native Habitat: Cool, rich woods; moist to drier thickets; swamp margins & clearings

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Coarse to medium loams; moist to slightly dry.
Conditions Comments: Very easy to grow and provides year-round interest. Berries are edible and juicier than those of the similar A. arborea. Sensitive to drought. Serviceberries are subject to many disease and insect problems, but damage from these problems is usually cosmetic rather than life threatening.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: A food plant for birds and small mammals.
Use Food: The sweet, juicy fruits are edible and rich in iron and copper (Kershaw). Native peoples dried the small pomes like raisins or mashed and dried them in cakes. Often the dried fruits were mixed with meat and fat to form pemmican, a light-weight, high-energy food that could support winter travellers for long periods if the diet was supplemented with vitamin C to prevent scurvy. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Last Update: 2014-08-22