Content Detail

Saskatoon or western serviceberry is a medium to large, upright, multi-stemmed shrub with four-season interest. The clusters of fragrant, white, drooping flowers appear in spring, followed by large, bluish-purple berries which are juicy and edible. Small blue-green leaves turn brilliant yellow and red in fall and the light gray bark is smooth with vertical streaks that add winter interest. Excellent for shrub borders, woodland gardens, and en masse.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming, Upright
  • Growth rate Slow

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Saskatoon serviceberry is native to North America, from Alaska across western Canada into the western and north central United States.

Attracts birds and butterflies: 

Flowers attract butterflies and fruit attract many song birds.

Bark color and texture: 

Older bark is silver-gray with vertical streaks.

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

Alternate, oval to round, green to dark green leaves change to yellow or red in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Clusters of five-petaled white fragrant flowers appear in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Large, 1/4 inch bluish-purple fleshy berries are juicy and edible.

Plant care:

A colony-forming medium to large shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide, Saskatoon serviceberry is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils and pH, it will  grow in heavy clay soil, but is not tolerant of wet soils. Root suckers are common, and plants will form a dense colony.  

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Fungal leaf spots, mildew, cedar-rust, fire blight, and canker diseases are all occasional problems.

Regent Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Regent’): 

Regent is a compact, deciduous, colony-forming cultivar which grows only 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. 

Standing Ovation™ Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’):

Standing Ovation is a narrow, upright version that grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. It is a good plant for screening or hedging.


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