Deserving of much wider use in the landscape, these graceful, airy trees and shrubs provide year-round interest. Drooping clusters of white or pinkish flowers, showy but short-lived, appear in early spring, just before or during leaf-out. They are followed in early summer by delicious blueberry-flavored fruit that is excellent for use in pies and jamsif you can beat the birds to it. Leaves are purplish in spring, turning deep green in summer and fiery hues in autumn.
Excellent in woodland gardens, these plants all grow about twice as high as wide. They are easy to garden under due to their noninvasive roots and the light shade they cast. Try planting them against a dark background to better show off the flowers, form, and fall color. All need some winter chill. Rust and fireblight sometimes appear but are seldom serious. Some folks call serviceberries sarvistrees.
A. arborea. serviceberry, JUNEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to eastern and southern U.S. Narrow tree. Similar to A. canadensis but is sometimes taller; more often forms a nice round-headed tree; and has larger, pendulous, loose racemes of white flowers that bloom as the leaves unfold. Delicious dark red-purple fruit.
A. canadensis. SHADBLOW SERVICEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Narrowish, to 25 ft. tall, with short, erect flower clusters. Plants offered under this name may actually belong to other species. Often suckering and multitrunked.
A. x grandiflora. APPLE SERVICEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Hybrid between A. arborea and A. laevis. Named selections may be sold under any of the three names. Most grow to 25 ft. tall, with drooping clusters of white flowers opening from pinkish buds. Outstanding selections include the following.
'Autumn Brilliance'. Strong stems stand up well to winter storms. Blue-green leaves turn orange-red in fall.
'Cole's Select'. Orange-red autumn color.
'Forest Prince'. Robust selection with especially handsome dark green foliage that turns orange-red in autumn.
'Princess Diana'. Orange-red fall color.
'Prince William'. Shrubby selection to 10 ft. high; orange-red in fall.
'Robin Hill'. Pink buds open to white flowers. Red to yellow fall leaf color.
A. laevis. ALLEGHENY SERVICEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native to eastern North America. Narrow shrub or small tree to 40 ft., with nodding or drooping, 4-in., white flower clusters. Leaves are bronzy purple when new, dark green in summer, yellow to red in autumn. Small black-purple fruit is very sweet. 'Snow Cloud' stands upright, 25 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide, with showy blooms and bright red fall color. 'Spring Flurry' is also upright, 28 ft. tall and 20 ft wide with orange fall color.