Common serviceberry, Downy serviceberry, Shadbush, Juneberry, Junebush, Shadblow, Sarvis
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
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: 9 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: 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:
Several in drooping clusters, sometimes blooming before the leaves appear. Fruit:
Berry-like, spherical, red to purple, sweet. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
N.B. to FL,
w. to e. MN,
& n.e. TX Native Habitat:
Open, rocky woods & slopes; wood borders; stream banks
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Wildlife: This is a preferred Amelanchier spp. for birds and other wildlife.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes