Botanical Name: Amelanchier canadensis
Common Name: Shadblow Serviceberry
Origin: E. North America
Notable Feature: Serviceberry is one of the first native shrubs to bloom each spring. The nectar attracts butterflies and other pollinators, and the berries attract many song birds. It has been documented that at least 26 different types of wildlife feed on this plant.
Habit: A deciduous, early flowering, large, multistemmed shrub or small tree which typically grows 15 to 30 feet tall and about as wide. Enjoys wet sites.
Flower: Showy, 5-petaled, slightly fragrant, ½” wide, white flowers are borne in 3-inch long, drooping clusters at the ends of branches and appear
before the leaves emerge in early spring. The flowers are perfect (bisexual).
Fruit: Ripening in early to mid-summer, 1/4 to 3/8” in diameter, rounded, green to red, aging to dark purplish black at which time they are edible and sweet. The berries, quickly consumed by birds, resemble blueberries and if remain, are used in jams, jellies, and pies.
Foliage: Finely toothed, elliptic, medium to dark green leaves (1 to 3" long) change to orange-red in autumn.
Bark: Smooth when young, and ashy gray with dark stripes; later become rough-textured with long splits and furrows.
Interesting Fact: Another common name is “Shadbush”, prevalent in the eastern U.S. tidal river areas. This name evolved with the association of tree flowering and shad ascending rivers to spawn. In folklore the name “Serviceberry” came from earlier times when the ground was too hard to bury someone in winter. So Grandpa was kept on the front porch until spring. When the tree bloomed the ground had thawed and it was time to hold the service. Many other common names include: Canadian Serviceberry, Huckleberry, Currant Tree, Juneberry, Shadbloom, Sugarplum, and Thicket Serviceberry.