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Appealing Amelanchiers

ServiceberryServiceberry, Juneberry, Shadblow, Sarvisberry, call it what you will, by any name this plant, botanically Amelanchier, is one of the loveliest we know. In early spring before leaves appear Serviceberry's white flowers makes a delicate, airy display. Summer brings blueberry-like fruit that's sweet, juicy and coveted by birds and jelly-makers. In fall there's spectacular foliage—red, orange—you wish it would last forever. When this flamboyant foliage is shed one sees the graceful form of these often multi-stem plants, ideal for grouping to create a natural looking landscape. Finally, because of their relatively small size, they can often be tucked into small spaces around your home and yard where their subtle beauty can readily be admired.

Serviceberry foliage

For anyone specifically interested in Montana natives you'll want to ask for Amelanchier alnifolia or our native Serviceberry. A sturdy shrub, you will often see it gracing the banks of creeks and ditches, especially in spring when it's in full bloom. It was once a staple food for American Indians from the Prairies to the Pacific Northwest. The berries were sun-dried and stored for winter use along with other berries such as buffaloberries and chokecherries. Some berries were pounded and used as flavoring in meat stews and as an ingredient in pemmican, which when mixed with dried buffalo meat and fat and formed into cakes was a popular Indian food.

Serviceberry blooms

At Blake Nursery Serviceberry is available as a small tree or shrub. ‘Regent’ is grown for its fine fruit—see Vegetable and Fruit Plants for more information on this variety.

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