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Amelanchier lamarckii - F.G.Schroed.

Common Name Apple Serviceberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-3
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Possibly no longer found in its original wild habitat, it is naturalized in S. England on sandy heaths and damp acid woods[11, 184].
Range N. America. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Amelanchier lamarckii Apple Serviceberry

(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Amelanchier lamarckii Apple Serviceberry
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Amelanchier lamarckii is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 4 m (13ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from June to 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: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


A. canadensis. non (L.)Medik. A. botryapium. A. grandiflora. Franco. non Rehd. Crataegus racemosa

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Edible fruit - raw or cooked[11]. Sweet and succulent with a flavour of apples[177], they can also be dried for later use[183]. This is one of the nicest fruits in the genus, they can be eaten and enjoyed in quantity[K]. The fruit is rich in iron and copper[226]. It is up to 10mm in diameter[200].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200] but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers an acid or neutral soil. Hardy to about -25°c[184]. This species does not produce suckers[184]. 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]. This species is worthy of special attention because of the quality of its fruit. It was formerly cultivated for these fruits and there are some named varieties[183]. The fruit is freely produced in Britain[184]. Considerable confusion has existed between this species and A. arborea, A. canadensis and A. laevis, see [11] for the latest (1991) classification. Some botanists consider this species to be a natural hybrid A. canadensis x A. laevis. 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]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is multistemmed with multiple stems from the crown [1-2]. The root pattern is flat with shallow roots forming a plate near the soil surface [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

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

Australia, Britain, Canada, Europe, North America, 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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Amelanchier alnifoliaSaskatoon, Saskatoon serviceberry, ServiceberryShrub4.0 4-6 MLMHSNM523
Amelanchier alnifolia cusickiiCusick's ServiceberryShrub3.0 0-0  LMHSNM410
Amelanchier alnifolia semiintegrifoliaPacific ServiceberryShrub3.0 0-0 SLMHSNM511
Amelanchier arboreaDowny Serviceberry, Alabama serviceberry, Juneberry, Common Serviceberry, Downy ServiceberryTree10.0 5-8 SLMHSNM312
Amelanchier asiaticaKorean JuneberryTree8.0 4-8  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier bartramianaOblongfruit serviceberryShrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNM300
Amelanchier basalticolaDwarf Service-berryShrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNM400
Amelanchier canadensisJuneberry, Canadian serviceberry, Serviceberry Downy, Shadblow, Shadbush, ServiceberryShrub6.0 4-7 MLMHSNM414
Amelanchier confusa Shrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNM500
Amelanchier humilisLow serviceberryShrub1.8 4-8  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier huroensis Tree6.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier interiorPacific serviceberryTree9.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier intermediaJune berry,Shrub6.0 4-8  LMHSNM300
Amelanchier laevisAllegheny Shadberry, Allegheny serviceberry, Smooth ServiceberryShrub9.0 5-8 MLMHSNM512
Amelanchier obovalisSouthern Juneberry, Coastal serviceberryTree1.5 5-9  LMHSNM301
Amelanchier ovalisSnowy Mespilus, Dwarf Garden ServiceberryShrub5.0 5-7 SLMHNM20 
Amelanchier ovalis integrifolia Shrub4.0 5-9  LMHSNM20 
Amelanchier pallidaPale ServiceberryShrub4.0 -  LMHSNM31 
Amelanchier parviflora Shrub2.0 4-8  LMHNM202
Amelanchier sanguineaRoundleaf Serviceberry, Gaspé serviceberryShrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNDM30 
Amelanchier spicata Shrub2.0 4-8  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier stoloniferaQuebec Berry, Running serviceberryShrub1.5 4-8  LMHSNDM510
Amelanchier utahensisUtah Serviceberry, Coville's serviceberryShrub5.0 3-7  LMHSNDM312
Amelanchier weigandii Shrub5.0 5-9  LMHSNM30 
Amelanchier x grandifloraApple ServiceberryShrub6.0 4-7 SLMHSNM500

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Readers comment

mootube   Fri Feb 9 2007

It's impossible to be dissapointed with 'Ballerina'. Of the 150 or so alt fruit plants I've gathered so far, it has shined as the best performer in every way. My 6ft branched whip was bought online from The Agroforestry Research Trust and came topped. In early spring, numerous small branchlets appeared on the existing branches which all produced an exceptional display of crisp white flowers, followed by about 50 showy berries up to 1cm accross with pastel red and purple colours. Birds don't tend to visit this part of the garden and the fruit stayed on the tree until picked so I can't really tell if birds would have stripped the tree or not. I bought it solely for it's fruiting qualities but the word ornamental doesn't give 'Ballerina' credit. My slight regret is that it wasn't planted as more of a centrepiece. I also hope it keeps it's present size and form, considering the potential dimensions of the tree. This year, more branchlets are starting to appear in the same way so I'm anticipating a much denser show of the remarkable flowers and many more berries. I highly recommend this plant and The Agroforestry Research Trust.

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Sun Feb 11 2007

I was very interested in mootube's post about the cultivar 'Ballerina'. We have grown it for a number of years on our trial grounds in Cornwall and, to be honest, it has not done very well with us. The crop has always been disappointing. I wonder what part of the country Mootube is in (I assume it is in the UK). It has been my experience that many of the plants that grow well in the west of the country do not do so well in the east, and vice versa. With us, our most productive Juneberry has been Amelanchier stolonifera which has an absolutely huge crop of large tasty fruits, though the mother plant we obtained a sucker from hardly ever fruits where it grows in the London suburbs. Amelanchier alnifolia also usually does well with us, though it fruits much more heavily in my Mother's garden in west London.

mootube   Mon Feb 12 2007

Hi Ken! I'm from south Wales, living in quite an elevated village that has panoramic views of Somerset through to west Wales, Swansea, the valleys and over Cardiff. We get mild, quite constant costal winds and it's bordering on UK zone 9 - 8b. I thought my first sentence may be a bit bold and generalising when I wrote it but it's certainly the case with my tree. In hindsight though, I think it's success can be attributed to a few favourable circumstances:- The tree is in a south facing position but also has a bit of competition for sunlight in the cooler months from a larger tree to the south of it. This can sometimes promote growth but I dont think that's the reason it did so well last year. It's dormancy was broken indoors in January before planting out. I was quite worried at the time so got some good advice about it. http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1539 The hole dug for it was well lined with an organic leaf mix I'd made (my attempt at emulating peat) in otherwise slightly alkaline soil. It was given light fertilizer through February and March and these seemed to work very well. With the head start and favorable soil conditions, 'ballerina' in particular really thrived, leafing and flowering before April and fruiting before June and gave a prolonged flower and berry display from late winter, through spring and well in to summer. We picked most of the berries when they started to fall in I think, August through necessity. I think the main factor for the lateral growth and large fruit set would have been that it was topped. Although I'm sure it was done to keep the delivery of plants at a certain size, it had a very positive effect with this plant, the existing branches staying around 2ft but numerous new branches appearing then flowering. It has broken dormancy very early again this year too with the same type of growth. Thanks for the advice about Amelanchier stolonifera which I haven't seen yet but will keep an eye out for. I also have A. Alnifolia and several A. Canadensis but they're very small which is one reason I would recommend The Agroforestry Research Trust. I've bought very healthy plants there that have had a high success rate. One last thing. Apologies for using so much of PFAF's bandwidth over the last year or two, I'll buy the disk one day and leave you in relative peace. =) Thanks a million Ken & PFAF.

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