Content Detail

Allegheny serviceberry is a small native understory tree with four-season interest. The early white spring flowers, outstanding orange-red fall color, and striking gray bark make it a lovely specimen for any landscape. The edible purplish-black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Under utility lines, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Mature height 15-25 feet
  • Mature width 15-25 feet
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Irregular, Multi-stemmed, Narrow, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well No
  • Wildlife Birds, Insect pollinators, Mammals
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-Value: 8  Allegheny serviceberry is native to the Midwest and northeastern United States and commonly found in wooded areas.

Bark color and texture:

Bark is smooth and silver-gray, with light vertical stripes.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Leaves are simple and alternate.  Oval leaves emerge with a distinctive red tinge before turning green to dark green. Fall color varies from yellow to orange to red.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Fragrant white flowers bloom in May and held on loose clusters.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Small, dark purple, 3/8” berry-like fruit (pome)  is edible.

Plant care:

Preferring moist, well-drained soil, Allegheny serviceberry is an understory tree best sited in part shade. This is a great tree for naturalizing.  It is wonderful when mixed with conifers and hardwoods.

Pests, diseases and tolerances:

Although intolerant of salt and drought, Allegheny serviceberry is tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

This plant is a cultivar of a species that is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.

Cumulus Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis ‘Cumulus’):

Cumulus is 20 to 30 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide; upright-oval form; flowers abundantly in spring;  yellow to orange-red fall color.

Lustre® Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis ‘Rogers’):

This cultivar is 20-30 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide with an upright habit.  It flowers abundantly in spring.  The leaves emerge purplish, become shiny green in summer and turn to orange and red in fall.

Spring Flurry® Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis ‘JFS-Arb’): 

Spring Flurry is 30 feet high by 20 feet wide.  It is an upright-oval form with an orange fall color.

Related hybrids

The following are cultivars of Amelanchier x grandiflora, which is a hybrid between downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis).

Autumn Brilliance apple serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’)

Very commonly sold, the cultivar is 20 to 25 feet high and wide with a brilliant red-orange fall color.

Princess Diana apple serviceberry  (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Princess Diana’): 

At 20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide, this cultivar has an upright habit with excellent red fall color.

Robin Hill apple serviceberry  (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Robin Hill’)

This tree grows to 20 to 25 feet high and 12 to 15 feet wide.  Similar to the others, it has an upright-oval habit, but the fall color is red to yellow.

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