Downy Serviceberry

Amelanchier arborea

Downy Serviceberry in bloom

Early settlers welcomed the blooms of the serviceberry, as its blossoms signaled the beginning of spring. One of the first shrubs to bloom, serviceberry was so named because its flowers appear as the ground thaws, during which time graves could be dug and burial services performed for those who died during the winter. This shrub can grow into the size of a small multitrunked tree. Its fruit is edible and was preserved in jams and jellies. Serviceberry is also a valuable food source for wildlife, particularly for birds, bees, and many species of butterflies and moths. Though its berries resemble blueberries, serviceberry is actually a member of the rose family.

Sponsor: Jim and Alice Hardy

Photo credits: