Snowy mespilus Amelanchier ovalis Medik.

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
snowy mespilus


Amelanchier ovalis, commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, is a deciduous shrub that exhibits a range of attractive features throughout the year. It is characterized by its slender branches that bear simple leaves that are elliptical in shape. The foliage emerges with a bronze or coppery tint in the spring before turning to a bright green as the season progresses. Autumn brings a transformation of the leaves to splendid shades of yellow, orange, or red, providing a striking display of fall coloration. The Snowy Mespilus is particularly admired for its small, white, star-shaped flowers that bloom profusely in loose clusters, creating a delicate, frothy appearance. These flowers emerge in mid to late spring and are a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. As the flowering season concludes, the plant produces small, round fruits that progress from green to red and finally to a dark purplish-black when ripe. These berries are edible and can be enjoyed by both wildlife and humans, often used in making jellies or eaten raw. The bark of the Snowy Mespilus is smooth and gray, providing a subtle but pleasing texture to the landscape. Overall, the appearance of the plant is one of gentle elegance with a capacity for seasonal interest, making it a beloved choice for gardens and naturalized areas where its ornamental qualities can be fully appreciated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowy Mespilus, Oval-Leaved Serviceberry, Dwarf Serviceberry, Oval-Leaf Shadbush

    • Common names

      Amelanchier vulgaris Moench, Mespilus amelanchier L., Crataegus amelanchier (L.) K.Koch, Aronia ovalis (Medik.) Syme, Sorbus amelanchier (L.) Wimm. & Grab.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Snowy Mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) is generally not considered toxic to humans. In fact, its berries are edible and can be consumed raw or used in cooking. However, it is always advisable to eat them in moderation and to properly identify the plant before consumption, as ingestion of misidentified berries or consumption of large quantities could potentially cause digestive discomfort.

    • To pets

      Snowy Mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) is not known to be toxic to pets. Its berries are edible for humans and there are no well-documented cases of toxicity in common domestic animals such as cats and dogs. As always, it's a good practice to prevent pets from consuming large amounts of any non-food plants, as they could possibly cause gastrointestinal upset.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-16 feet (1.8-4.9 meters)

    • Spread

      4-15 feet (1.2-4.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ecosystem Support: Amelanchier ovalis, commonly known as snowberry, provides habitat and food for wildlife, including birds and insects.
    • Ornamental Value: The snowberry is appreciated for its spring flowers, summer fruits, and autumn foliage, making it a popular choice for gardens and landscaping.
    • Soil Stabilization: The plant's root systems help to prevent soil erosion, especially on slopes or in areas prone to disturbance.
    • Edible Fruits: The berries of the snowberry are edible for humans and can be used in preserves and baking.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for low-maintenance landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antidiarrheal: Amelanchier ovalis, commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, has been traditionally used to help with diarrhea.
    • Antioxidant: The plant may contain compounds that exhibit antioxidant properties.
    • Anti-inflammatory: It may have anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of certain chemical constituents.
    • Gastroprotective: Snowy Mespilus may help protect the gastrointestinal tract.
    • Astringent: The astringent qualities of Amelanchier ovalis may help in the management of minor wounds or inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Amelanchier ovalis, commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, can be used as a natural dye source. The berries produce a bluish-purple dye, which has been traditionally used for coloring fabrics.
    • The wood of Snowy Mespilus is hard and resilient, making it suitable for crafting small objects such as tool handles and walking sticks.
    • The berries of Snowy Mespilus can be fermented to produce a homemade wine with a unique flavour profile.
    • In landscape design, the Snowy Mespilus is valued for its attractive spring blossoms and can be used to create stunning visual effects in gardens and parks.
    • The dense foliage of Snowy Mespilus provides excellent cover for birds and small mammals, making it a beneficial plant for encouraging wildlife in natural spaces.
    • Snowy Mespilus's leaves turn vibrant colors in the fall, and they can be collected and pressed for decorative purposes or used in crafts.
    • The fruit of Snowy Mespilus can be used as a natural bait for trapping certain types of game due to its appealing taste to wildlife.
    • Because of its moderate size and fine branching habit, Snowy Mespilus can be cultivated as bonsai for ornamental purposes.
    • The dried branches and twigs of Snowy Mespilus are strong and can be used in floral arrangements to add an element of natural beauty and structure.
    • The compact and regular growth habit of Snowy Mespilus makes it an ideal candidate for hedges or as part of a mixed shrub border in landscaping projects.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Snowy Mespilus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Snowy Mespilus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • New Beginnings: Amelanchier ovalis, commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, often blooms with white flowers in early spring, symbolizing renewal or the start of a new cycle.
    • Innocence: The delicate white flowers of the Snowy Mespilus can represent purity and innocence, much like many other white-flowering plants.
    • Hope: As a harbinger of spring, the Snowy Mespilus can symbolize hope as it brings the promise of new life after the cold, dormant period of winter.
    • Transition: The changing color of the plant's leaves throughout the seasons, from green to orange and red, can signify transitions, adaptation, and the passage of time.
    • Provision: The edible berries produced by the Snowy Mespilus are a source of food for wildlife, symbolizing nature's provision and abundance.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Juneberry plants should be watered regularly, especially during their first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Once established, they're fairly drought-tolerant but perform best when they receive about 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. During prolonged dry spells, a deep watering every two weeks with about 15 gallons per plant is sufficient. Be mindful that well-drained soil is important, as Juneberry doesn't like waterlogged roots. In the winter, reduce watering, but don't let the plant dry out completely.

  • sunLight

    Juneberry thrives best in full sun to partial shade. A location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day is ideal for optimal growth and fruit production. However, the plant is versatile and can also tolerate light shade, though this may result in fewer flowers and fruit. Avoid deep shade as it can lead to poor development and increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Juneberry plants are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making them suitable for many climates. They can withstand winter cold down to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit and are comfortable during the summer in temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for promoting the best growth and fruit production is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Always ensure that the plant is protected from extreme temperature fluctuations, which can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Juneberry plants helps maintain their shape, encourage healthy growth, and may improve fruit production. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches to allow light and air to penetrate the canopy, which reduces the risk of disease. Also, thin out older stems to encourage new growth. Pruning every year or every other year is typically sufficient.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) thrives best in a well-draining, loamy soil that is moderately fertile. The ideal pH for this soil mix should be slightly acidic to neutral, generally between 6.0 and 7.5. Adding leaf mold or compost to the soil can improve its structure and nutrient content, providing an optimal growing medium for the snowy mespilus.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) doesn't require frequent repotting as it is typically grown in the ground outside. However, if grown in a container, repotting every 2-4 years or when the roots become visibly cramped can be beneficial for maintaining its health and vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) is quite adaptable to a range of outdoor humidity levels but tends to prefer moderate to high humidity. There's no specific humidity level needed, as it flourishes naturally in outdoor conditions where the humidity is determined by the environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light and occasional pruning.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Amelanchier ovalis Medik., commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, begins its life cycle when the small, hard-coated seeds germinate, typically requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy. Upon germination, a seedling emerges, developing its first roots and leaves to begin photosynthesis. As the seedling grows, it develops into a juvenile plant and forms a woody stem, marking its transition to a sapling. Over several years, the Snowy Mespilus matures into a flowering shrub, characterized by stunning white flowers in spring that are pollinated by insects, leading to the formation of small pome fruits. These fruits, once ripened, are dispersed by animals or gravity, allowing the seeds inside to potentially establish new plants. Finally, as the plant ages, it enters a period of senescence, where growth slows, and it may eventually die, completing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Amelanchier ovalis Medik., commonly known as Snowy Mespilus, is most effectively propagated by seed. To propagate Snowy Mespilus seeds, it is best to collect the seeds in the fall after the fruit has ripened. Clean and prepare the seeds by removing any remaining pulp, which can be done by macerating the berries in water and then rinsing the seeds. The seeds of Snowy Mespilus typically require a period of cold stratification to break dormancy; this process involves mixing the seeds with moist sand and storing them in a refrigerator at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 degrees Celsius) for approximately 2 to 3 months. Once stratified, the seeds can be sown in spring in a well-draining seed starting mix, covering them lightly with soil. They should be kept moist until germination, which can take from several weeks to a few months, depending on conditions. Seedlings can then be grown on in pots or nursery beds until they are large enough to be planted out in their permanent positions.