Serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadblow, Sarvisberry, call it what you will, but by any name this plant, botanically Amelanchier, is one of the loveliest we know. In early spring before leaves appear Serviceberry’s white flowers make 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 continue forever. When this flamboyant foliage is shed one sees the graceful form of these often multi-stem plants. Since they’re relatively unobtrusive they can easily be tucked into small spaces around your home and yard where their subtle beauty can readily be admired. At Blake Nursery Serviceberry is available as a small tree or shrub. Amelanchier alnifolia, a sturdy shrub, is native to Montana. ‘Regent’ is grown for its fine fruit. Check out our the fruit section in our catalog for more information.
For anyone specifically interested in Montana natives you'll want to ask for Amelanchier alnifolia or our native Serviceberry. 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.
Whatever you call them, Amelanchiers are undeniably appealing. To start with, they range in size from small trees to small shrubs, so fit into a variety of landscape situations. One of their assets is a delicate and airy display of white flowers in early spring before their leaves appear - often observed along creeks and ditches. Then there's the blueberry-like fruit that's sweet and juicy and coveted by birds, and spectacular fall foliage - red, purple, and orange - you wish it would continue forever. Last but not least, when all that flamboyant foliage is shed one gets to see the graceful form of these often multi-stemmed plants that are ideal for grouping to create a natural looking landscape.