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Shadblow serviceberry is a deciduous, early-flowering, large shrub or small tree in the rose family that is native to eastern North America and is found in the coastal and Piedmont of NC. It is an understory tree, often found growing in clumps in swamps, bogs, lowlands, and thickets and grows 15-25 feet tall. In spring the showy, fragrant flowers bloom in clusters before leaf-out. The purple berry-like drupes follow and are attractive to wildlife and edible by humans. In fall the leaves turn showy red and orange.Shadblow serviceberry should be grown in full sun or light shade. It prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Shadblow serviceberry needs pruning only if multiple stems are being thinned to enhance the appearance of the trunk. This tree rarely needs to be fertilized. It is hardy in Zones 3 to 7 (possibly 8). Shadblow serviceberry is resistant to pests. It is prone to fire blight.
Shadblow serviceberry got its common name because it fruits in June "when the shad (a northern fish) run." All the serviceberries make good small landscape trees or multistemmed shrubs. Serviceberry is a common understory tree in southeastern forests of North America. The wood of serviceberry is among the heaviest in the U.S., and would be more valuable if the trees grew larger. Shadblow serviceberry flowers about one week later than A. arborea, downy serviceberry. Serviceberry's fruit is used to make pies and sweetbreads and can be dried like raisins. Cherokees used serviceberry tea to aid digestion, and children who had worms were given baths in serviceberry tea. Native Americans used the tree's straight wood to make arrow shafts. Francois Michaux wrote of serviceberries being available in Philadelphia markets, but only children bought them. Serviceberries have good fall color and the bark is grayish and ornamental. It becomes ridged and furrowed as the tree ages. Shadblow serviceberry is an excellent choice for a naturalized garden, where it can spread naturally by suckering. It also makes an attractive specimen plant or can be used in front of an evergreen background.
Names: The Serviceberry genus, Amelanchier, is from the old French word amelancier, the name of A. ovalis from Provence. The species, canadensis, means 'of Canada'. The common name of 'Serviceberry' is derived from the flower clusters being gathered for use in church services in times past. The common name of 'Shadblow' comes from the East Coast where the shrub flowers in June at the time of the running of the river herring (Atlantic Shad). (Source:Notes: Shadblow Serviceberry is found in the very eastern part of North America, from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec in Canada, south into New England, west as far as New York and Pennsylvania, then down the eastern seaboard to Georgia and Alabama. It is not native to the central part of the U.S. or to Minnesota. There is no doubt that it can grow here, it is just not native. By 1914 the Park Board Nursery was growing the plant and Eloise Butler obtained 3 plants for the Garden on Oct. 28, 1914 and again in April 1917 and 1925. Martha Crone reported it on her 1951 census and noted it in bloom in 1939, and Gardener Cary George reported planting it in 1987. It was not listed on the 2009 census(Source:www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org)