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Amelanchier canadensis - (L.)Medik.

Common Name Juneberry, Canadian serviceberry, Serviceberry Downy, Shadblow, Shadbush, Serviceberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swamps, low ground, woods and thickets[43]. Grows in woods and hedgerows in Britain[17].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to Florida. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Amelanchier canadensis Juneberry, Canadian serviceberry, Serviceberry Downy, Shadblow, Shadbush, Serviceberry

(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Amelanchier canadensis Juneberry, Canadian serviceberry, Serviceberry Downy, Shadblow, Shadbush, Serviceberry


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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Amelanchier canadensis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


A. oblongifolia. Mespilus canadensis.


Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Edible fruit - raw or cooked[3, 55, 101, 159]. The fruit contains a few small seeds at the centre, it has a sweet flavour with a hint of apple[1, 2]. It can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc or dried and used like raisins[183]. We have found the fruit to be of variable quality, with some forms having a distinct bitterness in the flavour whilst others are sweet, juicy and delicious[K]. When the fruit is thoroughly cooked in puddings or pies the seed imparts an almond flavour to the food[183]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226]. It is about 10mm in diameter[200]. Trees can yield 7 to 15 tonnes per hectare[160].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Disinfectant;  Women's complaints.

A tea made from the root bark (mixed with other unspecified herbs) was used as a tonic in the treatment of excessive menstrual bleeding and also to treat diarrhoea[222, 257]. A bath of the bark tea was used on children with worms[222, 257]. An infusion of the root was used to prevent miscarriage after an injury[257]. A compound concoction of the inner bark was used as a disinfectant wash[257].

Other Uses

Disinfectant;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Rootstock;  Shelterbelt;  Wood.

This species can be used as a dwarfing rootstock for Malus spp. (the apples) and Pyrus spp. (the pears)[160]. Plants can be grown as an informal hedge[200]. Any trimming is best done after flowering[200]. A fairly wind-tolerant species, it can be used to give protection from the wind as part of a mixed shelterbelt[200]. Wood - hard, strong, close grained. Used for tool handles, small implements etc[46, 61].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200] but thrives in any soil that is not water-logged, too dry or poor[11], though it is more wet-tolerant than other members of this genus[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid soil[17, 43]. Trees produce more and better quality fruits better when growing in a sunny position[1]. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe[K]. There is at least one named variety of this species with superior fruits. 'Prince William' is a large multi-stemmed shrub to 3 metres tall and 2 metres across[183, 200]. It crops heavily and its good quality fruit is about 12mm in diameter[183]. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. laevis and A. lamarckii, see [11] for the most recent (1991) classification. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing[1]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.


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Seed - it is best harvested 'green', when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed[78, 80]. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring - takes 18 months[78]. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Canada, North America, Tasmania, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amelanchier alnifoliaSaskatoon, Saskatoon serviceberry, Serviceberry52
Amelanchier alnifolia cusickiiCusick's Serviceberry41
Amelanchier alnifolia semiintegrifoliaPacific Serviceberry51
Amelanchier arboreaDowny Serviceberry, Alabama serviceberry, Juneberry, Common Serviceberry, Downy Serviceberry31
Amelanchier asiaticaKorean Juneberry30
Amelanchier bartramianaOblongfruit serviceberry30
Amelanchier basalticolaDwarf Service-berry40
Amelanchier confusa 50
Amelanchier humilisLow serviceberry30
Amelanchier huroensis 30
Amelanchier interiorPacific serviceberry30
Amelanchier intermediaJune berry,30
Amelanchier laevisAllegheny Shadberry, Allegheny serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry51
Amelanchier lamarckiiApple Serviceberry50
Amelanchier obovalisSouthern Juneberry, Coastal serviceberry30
Amelanchier ovalisSnowy Mespilus, Dwarf Garden Serviceberry20
Amelanchier ovalis integrifolia 20
Amelanchier pallidaPale Serviceberry31
Amelanchier parviflora 20
Amelanchier sanguineaRoundleaf Serviceberry, Gaspé serviceberry30
Amelanchier spicata 30
Amelanchier stoloniferaQuebec Berry, Running serviceberry51
Amelanchier utahensisUtah Serviceberry, Coville's serviceberry31
Amelanchier weigandii 30
Amelanchier x grandifloraApple Serviceberry50


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Jan Kola   Mon Dec 04 23:42:43 2000

Juneberry is more frequently called saskatoonberry. There was project long ago, funded by Canada government, based on the breeding works of Canadian gardeners, I forgot the name. The project failed, for in Canada hand work is expensive. Saskatoonberry needs a lot of hand work. They carried out the project properly, they even built a factory for the preservation of the berries to make jellies and other products. But when it failed, there are now indians sleeping in the factory. I think it was in Alberta, Bevearlodge. Research station there now works with different plants.

But Canadian farmers soon recognized, that it is good for them to produce it, though they probably they earn more money on selling plants, than on fruits.

The fruit of A. lamarckii is so tasty, that everybody has to love it only to get used to it. They will soon love also another species fruit, though the taste of some species is a litle strange.

Don't forget, that Amelanchier is not only a Northern America plant, but it grows also in Russia, Caucasus, Crete, Northern Africa. Especially in Russia it is called IRGA and it is frequented between gardeners.

Rich   Wed Dec 20 11:01:57 2000

Two intresting sites for Amelanchier:

Native Fruit Development Program


If people want to get in contact with Jan Koan who wrote the previous comment they can get in touch with him at: Jan Kola, Jasminova 1616, Ostrava 70800, Czech Republik, Tel. 69 6951114

   Fri May 11 17:31:46 2001

You want pictures of juneberries, well here you go...

dugan garden center Rain Tree Alabama Forest Info iastate uni

that should be enough :) I got some small ones planted, but they are to young to fruit yet. They could also be chokecherries, but not sure.

Look at this to be sure:


Pam   Tue Jan 6 2009

When I bought this, it was called "Serviceberry" var. "Autumn brilliance", and the berries were delicious. Very pretty!

   Jul 19 2012 12:00AM

NOTE: I do believe that the "Serviceberry" var. "Autumn brilliance" which PAM wrote of is actually a combination of A. laevis x A. grandiflora. I have two of those from a nursery nearby. I just acquired a real A. canadensis, or Juneberry, from Useful plants nursery. I went through greater lengths to get it because I think it has much, much tastier berries! My friend had three Autumn Brilliance serviceberries and one juneberry all growing in the same rich front yard, and I always preferred A. canadensis (juneberry) fruits.

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