When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
241-242, 294-297, 308.3, 347.6, 368-370
The Serviceberry, or Amelanchier arborea, is native to eastern North America and can be seen all the way from the Gulf Coast north to Ontario and Quebec. It also ranges as far west as Texas and Minnesota.
Amelanchier arborea is generally 5-12 m tall and can occasionally grow up to 20 m tall. The trunk is an average 15 cm in diameter (rarely up to 40 cm diameter) and its bark is smooth and gray.
The buds of the Serviceberry are slender with a pointed tip. The leaves are oval inshape, 4-8 cm (rarely 10 cm) long and 2.5-4 cm wide, with pointed tips and finely serrated edges. An easily identifiable characteristic for this plant is that the young leaves emerge soft and down-like on the underside. The fall color is variable ranging from orange-yellow to pinkish or reddish.
The Serviceberry plant has monoecious flowers, meaning the pistils and stamens are both present within separate flowers of the same plant. These flowers have white petals, typically up to 5, and are 15-25 mm in diameter. The tend to emerge during early spring. Serviceberry flowers are produced on 3-5 cm long stems with 4-10 individual flowers hanging freely. The fruit of this plant is round and reddish-purple, about 1 cm in diameter. They resemble a small apple in shape and ripen in summer.The flowers are pollinated by bees and the fruit is very popular with many types of birds.
These trees are often used as ornamentals and many cultivated varities have been created for variation in growth habit,leaf color, and flower size and color. In the fall the Serviceberry foliage blends colors of orange and gold with red and green. It grows best in partial shade to full sun, preferring moist but well-drained soil. Serviceberry hyrbids are often created with other species of Amelanchier plants and may often cause identification of this plant to be very difficult.
Trees of the Serviceberry are generally not large enough for sawtimber but have been known to be used for pulpwood. The wood is occasionally made into tool handles due to it being extremely heavy and hard. Cree Indians prized it for making arrows.
Mockingbirds, cardinals, cedar waxwings, towhees and Baltimore orioles are just some of the 40 types of birds that eat the fruit of this Amelanchier species. Many mammals also enjoy the fruit, twigs and leaves of the Serviceberry plants including squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, mice, voles, foxes, black bears, deer, and elk. The taste of the Serviceberry fruit is similar to that of the blueberry. They can be eaten fresh or cooked in pastries or puddings.