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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Amelanchier alnifolia

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Flowering Period: Apr, May April May
Flower color: white
Full sun Mostly sunny Partial sun
Moist soil Dry soil


At a Glance: Medium-sized shrub producing fragrant white flowers in late spring.

Height: Up to 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Growth Form: Shrub.
Stems: Stems are smooth and slender, often with leaning trunks. Bark is dark gray to reddish.
Leaves: Leaves are alternate, round to oval in shape, green. The top half of the leaf is toothed.
Flowers: Clusters of large white flowers range from drooping to erect. Each flower has 5 petals with 15 to 20 stamens each; size: 1-2.5 cm across.
Flowering Period: April, May.
Fruits: The berry-like fruits are called pomes. Fruits start to form soon after flowers fade. Color: initially dull-red, turning dark purple/black with a white bloom.

Amelanchier alnifolia
Photo © 2003, Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
NI (no indicator data)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Birds: The serviceberries are eaten by woodpeckers, crows, chickadees, thrushes, towhees, bluebirds, waxwings, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, goldfinches, juncos, grouse, and pheasants.
Insects: The nectar is used by spring azure butterflies. The foliage is eaten by swallowtail and other butterfly larvae.
Mammals: Mammals that eat the berries include chipmunks, marmots, skunks, foxes, ground squirrels, raccoons, and bear. Deer and elk browse the leaves and twigs.


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Food Uses: The blue-purple berries are edible and sweet.
Landscape Uses: Nice fall foliage.


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.