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Garden serviceberry

Garden serviceberry, also known as snowy mespilus is a European native. The upright, erect, multi-stemmed shrub is found on limestone outcrops and in rocky woods. The white spring flowers and edible blue berries attract birds and wildlife. This plant may be difficult to find in nurseries.

Botanical name:

Amelanchier ovalis

All Common Names:

Garden serviceberry, snowy mespilus

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Hedge,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil

Season of Interest:

  • Early winter,
  • Early spring,
  • Mid summer,
  • Early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

An upright, erect  shrub reaching 3 to 9 feet high and wide
Prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun, not tolerant of shay conditions.
May be difficult to find in nurseries.
Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. 

Disease, pests, and problems

Fungal leaf spots, rust,  fire blight

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to central and southern Europe, N. Africa, and Middle East

Attracts birds & wildlife

Fruit attract birds  and other wildlife

Bark color and texture 

Smooth and gray

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, oval to elliptical 2 to 3 inches long.
Green in summer changing to orange, red and yellow in fall

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Erect, 5-petal flower clusters in early spring

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Blue fleshy edible berry


Location of Amelanchier ovalis (Garden serviceberry) at the Arboretum