Apple serviceberry is a hybrid between two North American species, Amelanchier canadensis and Amelanchier laevis. Apple serviceberry has characteristics superior to both parents in that it resists leaf spot, suckers less, is adapted to a wider range of soils, and even tolerates some drought. It is only 25 feet tall, which makes it the perfect size for a modern garden. It is typically multi-stemmed, upright and lightly branched making a large shrub, or when properly pruned, a small, vase-shaped tree. Its spectacular white flowers are larger and showier than the species and are borne in early spring on drooping clusters before the leaves emerge. From bud to first blush these blossoms are tinged pink and gradually turn to white with the added bonus of fragrance. The leaves are purple tinged and very handsome but their real show comes in autumn with spectacular displays of red, yellow and orange. And one final asset is the fruit, which are small, round green berries which turn red and finally a dark purplish black in early summer. The berries are sweet, resembling blueberries in size and color, and are delicious in jams, jellies and pies. They are also a source of food for wildlife.

Apple serviceberry is best in shrub borders or as a courtyard focal point, but perhaps it is even more effective along a woodland verge, particularly with dark or shaded backdrops to frame the flowers and autumn colors. And most impressively, it is stunning above quiet pools and ponds to reflect the colors.

It is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade and is tolerant of a wide range of soils.  It is well adapted to Canada, the upper US, the UK and New Zealand.

Another beautiful serviceberry is Saskatoon serviceberry, or Amelanchier alnifolia.

Apple serviceberry


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