Allegheny Serviceberry Amelanchier laevis 'Prince Charles'
The 'Prince Charles' variety of the Serviceberry plant is known for its ornamental beauty and seasonal interest. During the spring, it puts on a stunning display of white flowers that emerge just before the leaves. These flowers are delicate, with five petals each, and are usually clustered in small bunches that cover the branches, creating a profuse and captivating floral display. As the flowering season ends, the plant begins to produce small, round fruit that resembles miniature apples. These fruits typically change color as they mature, usually transitioning from a green to a deep purple or almost black hue. The fruit is not only attractive but also edible and is enjoyed by both wildlife and humans. The leaves of 'Prince Charles' Serviceberry are simple and oval-shaped, with fine-toothed margins. They are known for their smooth texture and start as a bronze color when they first emerge before turning into a deep green as they mature. In the autumn, the foliage provides another visual treat as it changes to a range of colors from yellow to orange and then red, adding to the plant's seasonal charm. The bark of the plant is smooth and gray, providing a subtle contrast to the lush foliage, and can also add to the aesthetic appeal of the plant, especially during the winter months when the leaves have fallen. Overall, the 'Prince Charles' Serviceberry is admired for its multi-seasonal ornamental features, including its showy white spring blooms, its edible, attractive fruit, its changing foliage colors, and its smooth, gray bark. These characteristics make it a beloved choice for gardens and landscapes where aesthetic appeal throughout the year is desired.
About this plant
Allegheny Serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry, Prince Charles Serviceberry
The most common common name for Amelanchier laevis 'Prince Charles' is serviceberry. Serviceberry is generally considered non-toxic to humans, and its berries are often eaten fresh, cooked, or made into preserves.
Serviceberry is also not known to be toxic to pets. The fruits are edible and normally do not pose a risk if ingested by animals such as dogs or cats. However, as with any plant matter, consumption in large quantities could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some pets.
Color of leaves
15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters)
15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters)
- General Benefits
- Ornamental Value: The 'Prince Charles' serviceberry is valued for its aesthetic appeal, featuring white spring flowers, summer berries, and vibrant fall foliage.
- Wildlife Attraction: The plant produces edible berries that attract birds and other wildlife, providing an important food source.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is generally resistant to drought, making it suitable for various landscapes with less water availability.
- Low Maintenance: Serviceberry is known for requiring minimal upkeep, which makes it a good choice for both personal and public gardens.
- Compact Size: Being a smaller tree or shrub, it is ideal for gardens with limited space or for use as a hedge or foundation plant.
- Seasonal Interest: With flowers in the spring, fruits in the summer, and colored leaves in the fall, it provides year-round interest in the landscape.
- Native Plant: As a plant native to North America, it supports local ecosystems and is likely to thrive in appropriate climates without much assistance.
- Pollinator-Friendly: The early blooms provide an important nectar source for bees and other pollinators in the spring.
- Erosion Control: With its well-developed root system, serviceberry can help stabilize soil and reduce erosion on slopes or in problem areas.
- Edible Fruit: The berries are both edible and tasty to humans, and can be used in jams, jellies, and baked goods.
- Adaptability: It is capable of adapting to a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clay, provided the soil is well-draining.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Photography subjects: The delicate white flowers of the Amelanchier laevis 'Prince Charles', commonly known as Prince Charles Serviceberry, provide an excellent opportunity for macro and nature photographers to capture springtime beauty.
- Bonsai specimens: Due to their attractive foliage and structure, serviceberry trees can be trained as bonsai for ornamental display in gardens and indoors.
- Wildlife habitat creation: Planting serviceberry can provide shelter and nesting opportunities for birds, as well as acting as a host plant for various types of caterpillars and butterflies.
- Dye production: The bark and berries of the serviceberry can be used to produce natural dyes for textiles, yielding shades of green and purple.
- Culinary decoration: The flowers can be candied or used as edible decorations for desserts and pastries, adding a touch of elegance to culinary creations.
- Woodworking material: The hard, fine-grained wood of the serviceberry is sometimes used by woodworkers and crafters to create small wooden objects like tool handles, furniture inlays, or decorative carvings.
- Ice cream and sorbet flavoring: The fruit of serviceberry, when ripe, can be used to add a unique, sweet flavor to homemade ice creams and sorbets.
- Educational resource: Serviceberry trees can be used in educational settings, such as schools and nature centers, to teach about plant biology, phenology, and local ecosystems.
- Symbolism in ceremonies: Trade Serviceberry twigs have been used in some cultural ceremonies to symbolize peace and new beginnings.
- Windbreaks and erosion control: By planting serviceberry shrubs in a row or as part of a mixed hedge, they can act as windbreaks to protect more sensitive plants and help prevent soil erosion.
- Feng Shui
The Serviceberry is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Serviceberry is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Renewal: Amelanchier, also commonly known as Serviceberry, often blooms early in the spring, symbolizing new beginnings and the renewal of life.
- Hope: The blossoming of Serviceberry flowers represents hope and the promise of better times ahead after long winters.
- Provision: Serviceberry trees are known for producing edible berries, which signifies sustenance and the plant’s role in providing for wildlife and humans.
- Protection: In some cultures, the Serviceberry is thought to offer spiritual protection due to its longstanding presence and resilience in the landscape.
- Peace: Its delicate white flowers and graceful form can evoke a sense of calm and peace when observed in its natural setting.
To water the Allegheny serviceberry, provide deep watering once a week during dry spells or in the absence of rain. The goal is to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Apply about 1 to 2 gallons of water for each watering session, depending on the size of the plant and the weather. During the growing season, check the moisture level of the soil at a depth of a few inches and water accordingly. Reduce the frequency of watering in the fall and winter when the plant is dormant.
Allegheny serviceberry thrives in full sun to part shade conditions. The ideal spot for the plant is one where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight but is also protected from the intense afternoon heat. If planting in a garden, make sure it is positioned where it can receive morning sunlight and dappled shade in the afternoon to avoid potential scorching during peak summer temperatures.
The Allegheny serviceberry can withstand a wide range of temperatures and is quite cold-hardy. It can survive minimum temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit but grows best in areas where the average minimum winter temperatures do not drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this plant during the growing season is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth and flowering.
Prune the Allegheny serviceberry to maintain its shape, remove any dead or diseased wood, and encourage healthy growth. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Thin out any crowded branches to ensure good air circulation; however, only prune moderately as this plant does not require heavy pruning. Pruning yearly or every other year should suffice to keep the plant healthy and attractive.
Allegheny serviceberry 'Prince Charles' thrives best in a well-draining, loamy to sandy soil with a slight acidity to neutral pH, around 6.0 to 7.0. To create an ideal soil mix, combine loam, compost, and a small amount of sand or perlite to ensure proper drainage. Regular amendments with organic matter can help maintain soil fertility and structure.
Allegheny serviceberry 'Prince Charles' is typically not a plant that requires frequent repotting as it is usually grown outdoors. If grown in containers, repotting should occur every 3-5 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. It's best to repot in the dormant season to minimize stress on the plant.
- Humidity & Misting
Allegheny serviceberry 'Prince Charles' is adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels but prefers moderate humidity typical of outdoor environments. There is no specific humidity requirement as it is tolerant of atmospheric conditions found in its natural or landscaped outdoor surroundings.
- Suitable locations
Difficult; requires ample light, not ideal for indoor growth.
Plant in well-draining soil with full sun to part shade.
- Life cycle
Amelanchier laevis 'Prince Charles', commonly known as smooth serviceberry or Allegheny serviceberry, begins its life cycle when a seed germinates, usually requiring stratification to break dormancy. The seedling grows into a young plant, developing a root system and foliage as it becomes established. As it matures, the plant enters a vegetative stage characterized by the growth of leaves, stems, and branches, preparing for the reproductive phase. During the reproductive stage, the smooth serviceberry produces showy white flowers in early spring, which, following pollination by insects, develop into small reddish-purple berries that ripen by early summer. These berries provide nourishment for birds and other wildlife, aiding in seed dispersal. After many years, the plant reaches maturity, completing its life cycle upon senescence and ultimately death, which may occur after several decades given optimal conditions.
Spring to Summer
The Amelanchier laevis 'Prince Charles', commonly known as the Allegheny serviceberry, can be propagated through softwood cuttings, which is one of the most popular methods. This involves taking a section of stem from a healthy parent plant during the late spring or early summer when new growth is still tender and green. The cutting should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long and have several leaves. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then planted in a well-draining growing medium and kept under high humidity conditions until roots establish, after which it can be transplanted to its permanent location.