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Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry) | NPIN
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Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Amelanchier laevis

Amelanchier laevis Wiegand

Allegheny serviceberry, Allegheny service-berry, Serviceberry

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Amelanchier arborea ssp. laevis, Amelanchier arborea var. cordifolia, Amelanchier arborea var. laevis, Amelanchier laevis var. nitida, Amelanchier ×grandiflora

USDA Symbol: AMLA

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

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)

 

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 , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
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: Dry , Moist
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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Propagation

Description: This species can be rooted from early spring hardwood cuttings or softwood cutting taken in the summer. 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: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible Plants for North Georgia
January 10, 2010
We are planning a forest food garden in the hollers of the N GA Mountains. Which edible fruit, nut, berry, herb and creepers would be best for this reddish, clay-like soil? The food garden is in...
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From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Longwood Gardens - Newark, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Bibliography

Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1258 - Trees of Ontario (2007) Kershaw, Linda

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Amelanchier laevis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Amelanchier laevis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Amelanchier laevis

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-12-14
Research By: TWC Staff

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