Inland Serviceberry

Inland Serviceberry Amelanchier interiorInland serviceberry (Amelanchier interior) is known by many names: serviceberry, juneberry, shadbush, shadblow and May cherry.  It is a small tree growing to a height of 35 feet under favorable conditions. The serviceberry in the western part of Iowa is usually only shrub-like. The tree flowers in the early spring, and has beautiful, delicate white flowers. It is desirable as an ornamental.

Habitat: Dry sandstone ledges, native range in northeast Iowa

serviceberry leaves
Serviceberry Leaves - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

Hardiness: Zones 2 through 7

Growth Rate: Slow

Mature Shape: Small tree with multiple upright stems. To make the species into a tree shape, the stems must be trained as its tendency is to be a multi-stemmed shrub. 

Height: 3-6 feet

Width: 3-6 feet

Site Requirements: Medium moisture; full to partial sun

Leaves: Alternate, simple, single toothed, and oval or oblong shaped

Flowering Dates: May - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: July - August

Seed Bearing Age: 2-4 years; significant yield after 6 to 8 years; maximum yields after 12 to 15 years

Seed Bearing Frequency: Yearly

Seed Stratification: Cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -33°F.

The leaves are hairy when young and somewhat resemble cherry leaves in shape and outline.  Leaves are dark red-brown as they unfold, but later dark dull green above, pale below and thick and firm.

The slender twigs have long-pointed, yellowish buds. The tree has a smooth, dark ashy gray and matted bark.

two different serviceberry trunks showing bark
Serviceberry Bark - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

white serviceberry flowers
Serviceberry Flowers - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

red serviceberries
Serviceberry Fruit - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University

serviceberry twig
Serviceberry Twig - Photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University