Common Serviceberry

Amelanchier arborea


Serviceberry with Fall color

This one our favorite trees and is native to eastern North America.  It’s beautiful when it blooms, has spectacular fall foliage and produces delicious berries which you must be diligent to harvest ahead of the birds and wildlife.

This small tree is also called Shadbush and Shadblow which allude to the fact that the showy masses of white flowers tend to occur at the same time that shad ascend the rivers in early spring to spawn. [2]  Amelanchier arborea is also commonly called Downy Serviceberry. [3]

Identification and Description


Serviceberry flower

Common Serviceberry is a deciduous, early-flowering, large shrub or small tree which typically grows 15-25 feet tall in cultivation but can reach 40 feet in the wild.   It features 5-petaled, showy, slightly fragrant, white flowers in drooping clusters which appear before the leaves emerge in early spring. [3]

Adapted to Georgia hardiness zones: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. Atlanta is zone 7b

Supported Wildlife and Other Uses

This plant is a favorite of birds and is of special value to Native Bees. [2]

References and Additional Information

[1]  UGA Extension: Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) – Serviceberry
[2]  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:  Amelanchier arborea
[3]  Missouri Botanical Garden:  Amelanchier arborea
[4]  Wikipedia:  Amelanchier arborea