Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Janet Allen, Budburst citizen scientist; ourhabitatgarden.org.

Eastern serviceberry

Scientific name
Amelanchier canadensis
Also Known As
Canadian serviceberry, Eastern juneberry, Shadbush, Shadow serviceberry
Plant Family
A small understory tree or large multi-trunked shrub, 6 to 20 ft tall, usually growing in clumps with many upright branches. The flowers open before the leaves emerge (or leaves are still folded and hairy when flowers emerge).
Identification Hints

A small understory tree or large multi-trunked shrub, 6 to 20 ft tall, usually growing in clumps with many upright branches. The white, five-petaled flowers open before the leaves emerge (or leaves are still folded and hairy when flowers emerge). The leaves are alternate and simple with hairs on the underside. The fruit is a small, red berry-like pome that turns dark purple when ripe.

Did You Know?

Serviceberries are subject to many disease and insect problems. Damage from these problems is usually cosmetic rather than life threatening. Also, it is an important browse and food plant for birds and other wildlife.

Leaves
The deep green leaves are not out yet when the tree is in flower. Leaves are simple, and oval-shaped with pointed tips. Leaf margins (edges) have many pointed teeth, with fewer teeth near the base of the leaf and the teeth are more dense than the veins. Leaves are on short stems (petioles) which are under 0.5 in (2 to 12 mm) long.
Flowers
Each flower has five petals that do not overlap. Flowers are bunched together on terminal ends of branches, and resemble apple flowers. Each flower is 1 in (2 to 3 cm) across, with white petals. The center of each flower is light green, the many yellow anthered stamens are attached around the edge, and the green stigma is in the center. The flowers open before the leaves emerge (or leaves are still folded and hairy when flowers emerge). Flowers bloom mid-spring (April to May), depending on location
Fruits
Small-ish berries (smaller than a marble) are on long stalks. Berries start green, and mature to a bright red and beyond red to blue. Berries superficially resemble a blueberry in shape and size. Each berry has 10 small seeds. Fruits generally appear between June and August.
Bark
Smooth when young, ashy-gray with dark stripes; later becoming rough with long splits and furrows. Can appear mottled as outer layers peel away
Habitat
Moist but well-drained soils in wood borders and moist upland woods. Prefers sun to partial shade.
States
AL, CT, DE, GA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WV