downy serviceberry

(Amelanchier arborea)

Conservation Status
downy serviceberry
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Downy serviceberry is a tall shrub or small tree. In Minnesota it is usually 10 to 25 tall. It is sometimes much taller but rarely more than 40 tall and rarely less than 6½ tall. It rises on multiple upright stems. When it is single stemmed, the stem is usually up to 3 in diameter. It does not spread by underground stems (rhizomes). The crown is usually taller than wide.

The bark is thin, smooth, and gray when young, developing shallow, vertical furrows and flat ridges with age.

First year branchlets are slender, greenish, flexible, and usually hairy. In the second year they are brown to reddish-brown and hairless with a few scattered, light-colored lenticels. Terminal buds are up to ½ long with a long point. They are light yellowish-green to greenish-red and have a fringe of hairs on the margins. Lateral buds often hook slightly around the twig.

The leaves are alternate, egg-shaped to elliptical, 1½ to 3 long, and 1 to 2 wide. They are on slender, light green, to1¼ long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are hairy, especially in the spring but also at maturity. The leaf blades are rounded or slightly heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip. The upper surface is dark green, dull, and hairless or almost hairless. The lower surface is pale green and is densely covered with white hairs when young, becoming less hairy but retaining at least hairs along the midrib at maturity. The margins are finely and closely toothed with sharp, forward-pointing teeth. Larger leaves have 25 to 45 teeth per side. The toothed part of the margin extends nearly to the rounded base.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, 1½ to 3 long cluster (raceme) of 5 to 12 flowers at the end of the stems and branches. The flowers appear from late April to late May when the leaves are just starting to unfold. Each flower is on a hairy flower stalk (pedicel). The lower pedicels are 3 16 to 1 long.

The flowers have both male and female reproductive parts. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 20 stamens, and 5 styles. The sepals are green, triangular, hairy, bent backwards, and short, to 3 16 long. The petals are white, narrowly egg-shaped to narrowly oblong, and 7 16 to long. They are at least 2 times longer than wide. The ovary is hairless at the top. The flowers are mildly fragrant.

The fruit is a more or less globe-shaped, 5 16 to ½ in diameter, pome with 4 to 10 seeds. They are green at first, becoming red, then purplish-black at maturity. It is somewhat dry and mostly tasteless.




10 to 25


Flower Color




Similar Species


Dry. Upland woods, open forests, swamp edges. Full to partial sun.




Late April to late May


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 24, 28, 29, 30.








Common in eastern North America west to the St. Croix Valley of Minnesota.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  


Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  


Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Amygdaloideae  
  Tribe Maleae  
  Subtribe Malinae  


Amelanchier (serviceberries)  

Subordinate Taxa






Amelanchier arborea var. arborea

Amelanchier arborea var. alabamensis

Mespilus arborea

Amelanchier alabamensis


Common Names


Allegheny serviceberry

apple shadbush

common serviceberry

downy Juneberry

downy serviceberry

downy shadbush















On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antennae. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



On plants: The stalk of a leaf blade or a compound leaf that attaches it to the stem. On ants and wasps: The constricted first one or two segments of the rear part of the body.



A fruit with a central seed bearing core enclosed in thick flesh, e.g., an apple or pear.



An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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Bill Reynolds

    downy serviceberry      


    downy serviceberry      


    downy serviceberry      






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Created: 5/27/2014

Last Updated:

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