Shadbush Amelanchier canadensis ambig.

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
service berry


Commonly known as the Canadian serviceberry, this plant is a flowering deciduary species that showcases a noteworthy change through the seasons. In spring, the Canadian serviceberry is adorned with delicate white flowers that emerge before its leaves. These blooms are typically clustered together and offer a slightly fragrant scent, attracting a variety of pollinators such as bees. As the seasons progress, the foliage takes center stage, with leaves that start as a bright green and mature to a darker, richer hue. In autumn, the Canadian serviceberry's leaves shift to an impressive display of reds, oranges, and yellows, adding a splash of color to the landscape. The plant also produces small fruit that can range in color from red to dark purple when ripe. The berries are sweet and edible, enjoyed by both humans and wildlife, including birds. The bark of the Canadian serviceberry is another notable feature, often being smooth when young and becoming slightly shaggier as it ages. Overall, the Canadian serviceberry is admired for its multi-season interest, from the early spring flowers to the autumn foliage and the summer fruit. Its aesthetic features are complemented by a hardiness that allows it to thrive in various growing conditions, making it a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers looking to add year-round appeal to their outdoor spaces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Canadian Serviceberry, Shadblow, Shadbush, Juneberry, Serviceberry, Sugarplum, Wild-plum, Thicket Serviceberry, Eastern Shadbush, Swamp Sugar Pear.

    • Common names

      Amelanchier intermedia, Amelanchier canadensis var. obovalis, Amelanchier lucida, Amelanchier obovalis, Amelanchier oblongifolia, Mespilus canadensis, Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier angustifolia, Pyrus botryapium, Sorbus botryapium, Crataegus ferruginea, Aronia botryapium, Amelanchier spicata, Amelanchier stolonifera.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Serviceberry, or Amelanchier canadensis, is not known to be toxic to humans. In fact, its berries are edible and often used in jams, jellies, and baked goods. There are no known toxic consequences from ingesting any part of the serviceberry plant when consumed as part of a normal diet by healthy individuals.

    • To pets

      Serviceberry is also not toxic to pets. The plant, including its berries, leaves, and stems, is generally considered safe for animals like cats and dogs. Ingesting the berries or other parts of the serviceberry plant should not cause any significant symptoms of poisoning or toxic effects in pets. However, ingestion of large amounts of any non-typical food can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset in some animals.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-25 feet (4.6-7.6 meters)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.6-6.1 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Wildlife Habitat: Amelanchier canadensis, commonly known as Serviceberry, provides a habitat and food source for birds and other wildlife.
    • Ornamental Value: With its white spring blossoms, edible fruit, and vibrant fall foliage, Serviceberry is a popular choice for landscaping and ornamental use.
    • Erosion Control: The plant can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion due to its root system.
    • Edible Fruit: The berries are edible and can be eaten fresh or used in jams, pies, and other recipes.
    • Low Maintenance: Serviceberry is known for being hardy and requires minimal care once established.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antidiarrheal - The fruit of Amelanchier canadensis, commonly known as serviceberry, has been used to help control diarrhea.
    • Antioxidant - The berries have been suggested to contain compounds with antioxidant properties.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Amelanchier canadensis, commonly known as Shadbush, was once used by Native Americans to make arrow shafts; the wood is strong and straight.
    • The Shadbush's bark has been historically used for tanning leather due to the presence of tannins.
    • Shadbush can be planted to prevent soil erosion on slopes because its root system holds the soil effectively.
    • The dense branching pattern of Shadbush provides excellent shelter and nesting sites for birds.
    • Due to its early flowering, Shadbush serves as an important early-season source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
    • Fruit from the Shadbush can be used as a natural dye, yielding blue or violet colors for fabric or basketry.
    • Wood from the Shadbush is suitable for making small wooden tools or handles, owing to its fine-grained texture.
    • Shadbush is used in landscape design for ornamental purposes, especially as a focal point for its beautiful spring blossoms and fall foliage.
    • The fruit, when fermented, can be used to make a unique variety of country wine or jelly with a distinctive flavor.
    • In traditional woodworking, the hard wood of Shadbush is valued for turning on a lathe to create intricate decorative pieces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Serviceberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Serviceberry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal: Amelanchier canadensis, commonly known as Serviceberry or Juneberry, blooms early in spring, symbolizing a renewal of life and the end of winter.
    • Hope: The Serviceberry's early blossoms bring hope, as they are among the first signs of spring and the new growing season ahead.
    • New Beginnings: Its springtime flowering can represent new beginnings and fresh starts, aligning with the season's theme of rebirth.
    • Provision: The berries of the Serviceberry tree provide food for wildlife, symbolizing nature's provision and generosity.
    • Beauty: The stunning white flowers of the Serviceberry add beauty to the landscape, symbolizing purity and the aesthetic gifts of nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Serviceberry prefers consistently moist soil, so regular watering is essential, especially during its establishment phase and in dry conditions. Water your serviceberry deeply, giving it about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water once a week, depending on the rainfall and the soil moisture levels. It's crucial not to let the soil dry out completely, but also to avoid waterlogging which can lead to root rot. During the growing season, if you receive less than an inch of rainfall per week, aim to supplement with watering. In the winter, reduce the amount of water, but if there are dry spells, occasional watering may still be necessary.

  • sunLight

    Serviceberry thrives in full sun to partial shade conditions. Ideally, it should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, but it can also tolerate light shade, especially in the hotter parts of the day. Planting serviceberry in a location where it can enjoy morning sunlight with some afternoon shade can help protect it from scorching in areas with very hot summers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Serviceberry is hardy and adaptable, tolerating a broad temperature range; it can survive in temperatures as low as -25°F and can handle the heat up to around 90°F. The ideal growing temperatures for serviceberry are between 60°F and 70°F. Avoid planting serviceberry in spots where temperatures may frequently exceed these ranges for the best growth and fruit production.

  • scissorsPruning

    Serviceberry should be pruned to maintain a healthy shape, to remove any damaged or diseased branches, and to encourage better fruiting. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning every 2 to 3 years is generally sufficient, focusing on thinning out crowded areas and cutting back older stems to promote new growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), the best soil mix is well-draining, loamy, and rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 and 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Serviceberries typically do not need frequent repotting as they are most often grown outdoors; they may never need to be repotted if conditions are suitable.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Serviceberry thrives in average outdoor humidity levels; it does not have strict humidity requirements and generally adapts to local conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Serviceberry by a bright window, ensure moderate humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Serviceberry in full sun to partial shade, in moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis ambig.) begins its life as a seed, which, after a period of dormancy and stratification through cold weather, germinates in the spring. Seedlings establish a root system and grow into juvenile plants, developing a strong stem, leaves, and a branching habit. As the serviceberry matures into an adult plant, it produces white flowers in early spring, which are subsequently pollinated by insects, leading to fruit development. The fruit, which ripens to a dark purple-black in summer, is eaten by birds and other wildlife, aiding in seed dispersal. The plant reaches full maturity in several years and can live for decades, producing flowers and fruit annually. During its lifetime, serviceberry experiences periods of dormancy in winter, losing its leaves and entering a state of rest until the next growth cycle begins in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for Amelanchier canadensis, commonly known as Serviceberry or Shadbush, is by seed. After collection, the seeds require a period of cold moist stratification to break dormancy, which can be achieved by mixing the seeds with moist sand and refrigerating them at temperatures of 34-38°F (1-3°C) for about 90 to 120 days. Once stratified, the seeds can be sown in a nursery bed or containers with well-draining soil in spring. Seedlings usually germinate within a few weeks and can be transplanted when they are large enough to handle. To ensure the best chance of germination and growth, it is ideal to plant them where they will have access to full sun to partial shade and in a soil that retains moisture well but also drains properly to prevent root rot.