Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by birds.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
All common names:
- Residential and parks,
- Wide median,
- Under utility lines
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Wet sites,
- Alkaline soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Moderately Tolerant
- Intolerant of pollution
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit,
- Showy flowers,
- Attractive bark
Seasons of Interest:
- early winter,
- late winter,
- early spring,
- mid spring,
- late spring,
- early summer,
- late summer,
- early fall,
- mid fall,
- late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Game birds,
- Game mammals,
- Small mammals,
Tree & Plant Care
Plants benefit from a mulch layer to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Tolerates a wide range of conditions.
Disease, pests, and problems
Rust and leaf spots are occasional problems
Disease, pests, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
This species is common throughout the Midwest. It is found in a variety of habitats.
Bark color and texture
Silvery gray, smooth bark develops fissures as it ages.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate, 2 to 3 inch long, oval to elliptical shaped leaves.
Green leaves turn to redm yellow and orange in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Numerous pink-tinged buds open to 5-petaled, white pendulous flowers in the spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
The 1/3-inch edible fruit starts out green, changing to red, then blue-black in June.
The following are cultivars of Amelanchier x grandiflora, which is a hybrid between downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Alleghany serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis).
Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’): 20 to 25 feet high and wide; red fall color.
Cole's Select apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Cole's Select’): 20 feet high and 15 feet wide; upright, spreading habit; orange-red fall color; thick, glossy summer foliage.
Forest Prince apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Forest Prince’): 20 feet high and 15 feet wide; oval habit and red-orange fall color.
Princess Diana apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Princess Diana’): 20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; upright habit, excellent red fall color.
Robin Hill apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Robin Hill’): 20 to 25 feet high and 12 to 15 feet wide ; upright-oval habit, red to yellow fall color.