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Saskatoon serviceberry

Saskatoon or western serviceberry is a medium to large upright, multi-stemmed shrub with four-season interest. The clusters of fragrant, white drooping flowers appear in spring, followed by large, bluish-purple berries which are juicy and edible. Small blue-green leaves turn brilliant yellow and red in fall and the light gray bark is smooth with vertical streaks add winter interest. Excellent for shrub borders, woodland gardens and in mass.

Botanical name:

Amelanchier alnifolia

All Common Names:

Saskatoon serviceberry, western serviceberry, alder-leaved serviceberry, Indian Pear

Family (English):

Rose

Family (Botanic):

Rosaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • 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 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

Tolerances:

  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Season of Interest:

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

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Thicket-forming,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

A colony-forming medium to large shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide.
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. 
Tolerant of a wide range of soils and will  grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. 
Not tolerant of wet soils.
Root suckers are common, and plants will form a dense colony.  

Disease, pests, and problems

Fungal leaf spots, mildew, rust, fireblight, cankers

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to North America from Alaska across western Canada into the western and north central United States.

Attracts birds & butterflies

Flowers attract butterflies and fruit attract many song birds

Bark color and texture 

Onler bark issSilver gray with vertical streaks 

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, oval to round green to dark green changing to yellw or red fall color

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Clusters of 5-petaled white fragrant flowers appear in early spring

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Large, 1/4-inch bluish-purple fleshy berries are juicy and edible

Cultivars and their differences 

Regent Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia 'Regent'):  is a compact, deciduous, colony-forming cultivar which grows only four to six feet tall and wide. 
Standing Ovation™ Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia 'Obelisk'): a narrow, upright version that grows 12 to 15 feet tall and three to four feet wide.

Location of Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry) at the Arboretum