Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Amelanchier arborea (Common serviceberry)
Muller, Thomas L.

Amelanchier arborea

Amelanchier arborea (Michx. f.) Fernald

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

Rosaceae (Rose Family)


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 60 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.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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
Fruit Type: Pome
Size Notes: Up to about 60 feet tall, often much shorter.
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 pome, spherical, red to purple, sweet.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: 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: yes

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 on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-05-08
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back