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

 Native Plant Database

Amelanchier arborea

Common serviceberry, Downy serviceberry, Shadbush, Juneberry, Junebush, Shadblow, Sarvis

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry)
Muller, Thomas L.
This Amelanchier species is a tall shrub or small tree, usually 15-25 ft., sometimes growing as tall as 30 ft. Its white flowers occur in drooping racemes, appearing before the leaves. Young leaves are covered with soft, woolly hairs that disappear as the leaf matures. The plantís ornamental bark is gray and smooth but streaked with longitudinal fissures; often with a reddish cast. Old bark is scaly. Small, edible berries are reddish-purple. The deciduous leaves of downy service-berry may turn wine-red in fall.

The names Shadbush and Shadblow allude to the fact that the showy masses of white flowers tend to occur at the same time that shad ascend the rivers in early spring to spawn. An older name is Sarvis. Sometimes planted as an ornamental for the showy clusters of flowers. This is the plant that is commonly sold in the nursery trade as Amelanchier canadensis. The latter is in fact a shrubby East Coast species.

Image Gallery:

10 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate , Oval
Leaf Margin: Denticulate
Leaf Base: Cordate
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oval to broadly lanceolate, pointed at the tip, often slightly heart-shaped at the base, finely toothed along the edges, pale and often hairy on the lower surface, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches wide.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Several in drooping clusters, sometimes blooming before the leaves appear.
Fruit: Berry-like, spherical, red to purple, sweet.
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to FL, w. to e. MN, e. NE & n.e. TX
Native Habitat: Open, rocky woods & slopes; wood borders; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Serviceberries are subject to many of disease and insect problems. Damage from these problems is usually cosmetic rather than life threatening. This species is most effective in naturalistic plantings and along wood edges, ponds and streams. Rabbits destroy seedlings.


Use Wildlife: This is a preferred Amelanchier spp. for birds and other wildlife.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds

Last Update: 2013-12-14