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Muller, Thomas L.
Amelanchier arborea (Michx. f.) Fernald
Common serviceberry, Downy serviceberry, Shadbush, Juneberry, Junebush, Shadblow, Sarvis
USDA Symbol: AMAR3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Dark Green Autumn Foliage:
Purple, Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WV 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
Use treated softwood cuttings taken when growth extension has ceased, the end leaf is maturing, and the stem
tissue is firming. Sow untreated seeds in fall or cold-stratified seed in spring. Seed Collection:
Collect fruits as soon as they ripen (if you can beat the birds) and clean seeds immediately to prevent fermentation. Fertile seeds are dark brown with a leathery seed coat. Seed extraction is usually by macerating the fruit
and washing them over screens. Air dry and store in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to five years. Seed Treatment:
Cold-moist stratification for 90-120 days. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MSNatural Biodiversity
- Johnstown, PAMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Research By: TWC Staff