Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry) – An Ornamental Native



Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry) is an underused large shrub or small tree for the landscape.  As a native, this plant is beneficial for wildlife and reliably drought resistant.  But, it is also an ornamental that provides year round interest. Other common names include juneberry and shadbush.

In early spring, serviceberry puts on a grand display of profuse white flowers. In summer, delicious red-purple berries are plentiful.  They are edible for people as well as a favorite of the birds. Handsome, medium to dark green leaves turn a stunning array of red and orange in autumn. Silver-gray bark with vertical ridges is showy in winter.

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Serviceberry can tolerate a variety of conditions. It is best planted in well-draining soil rich in organic matter in sun to part-shade.  Plants will grow just fine in part-shade but more sun provides more plentiful flowers and berries. Once established, plants are drought resistant. Serviceberry works well as a screening plant as well as worked into the shrub or woodland border. Plants are moderate to fast growers, growing upwards of 10-25 feet tall and 10 -15 feet wide depending on cultivar.

 

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.

Photo courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University.