Serviceberry, Downy. Amelanchier arborea (species). USDA z4-9.
Downy serviceberry gets its name from the grayish, fuzzy or downy emerging leaves, while serviceberry refers to the Appalachian tradition of holding memorial services for the dead that coincided with the blooming of the serviceberries.
Downy serviceberry is native to eastern North America. In the wild trees are found along borders of woodlands and stream banks, although it also occurs on hillsides and mountain slopes. Downy serviceberry is a small tree or multi-stemmed large shrub. It has a rounded crown with many small arching, spreading branches and grows 20 to 30 feet in height. Plants can be grown single-trunked or multi-stemmed.
Downy serviceberry is a four season tree, with spring blooms, summer fruit, fall color, and interesting winter branch patterns.
Downy serviceberry leaves resemble those of their close relative, the apple, and are downy beneath and smoother above. Downy serviceberry blooms in clouds of white in early spring woods. The 5-petalled, dainty, white flowers bloom in March and April. Flowers hang in elegant clusters from the branches and are 2 to 4 inches in length. The flowers are very ornamental but are at their peak for a few days, fading just as redbud (Cercis canadensis) steps forward with its rosy pink blooms.
Small, berry-like pomes (fleshy fruits with seed chambers) ripen in June. The fruits turn from green to red to purplish-black and are eaten by wildlife. The seeds are scattered by songbirds and other wildlife.
Fall color can vary from yellow to orange to red and is one of the finest small trees for fall coloration.
Serviceberries are extremely adaptable to a variety of sites and soils. Growth is best in full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained, acid soils.
Serviceberry is a food source for the larvae of tiger butterflies and viceroys. The fruits provide food for wildlife. Serviceberry fruit is probably the best summer fruit for birds. The flowers are pollinated by bees, beetles and butterflies. Downy serviceberry rarely requires pruning.
1 plant for $7.95 or
3 plants for $17.85 is $5.95 each or
10 plants for $49.50 is $4.95 each or
25 plants for $98.75 is $3.95 each