Smooth shadbush is a small tree or shrub that rarely grows taller than 30 feet. The white flowers bloom in early spring and the fruits are small and red and resemble tiny apples. The leaves are elliptic in shape with small teeth along the edges. Smooth shadbush is typically found near streams, moist coves and near balds.
It is said the trees common name, serviceberry, comes from the days of circuit riding preachers. The preachers would arrive in spring around the time the tree bloomed - that's when "services" began again. Smooth shadbush is famous in the Great Smoky Mountains for its star-like white flowers that can easily be seen from the Appalachian Trail sometimes starting as early as February in lower elevations and moving up the mountains into May. Traditionally an infusion of the bark was taken by expectant mothers.