Amelanchier alnifolia
Common name: 
Western Serviceberry
Pacific Serviceberry
Saskatoon Berry
Alder Leaved Serviceberry
Pronunciation: 
am-e-LANG-kee-er al-ni-FO-le-ah
Family: 
Rosaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
Yes
  • Deciduous shrub/tree, usually to 20-30 ft (6-9 m) with a spreading to erect habit.  Leaves alternate, simple, tough, oval to rounded or nearly 4 sided, from 1/4 to 3/4 of the margin serrate, tomentose beneath when young, soon becoming glabrous, 2-5 cm long, 8-13 paired veins, 2-20 teeth on each side of the blade.  Flowers small, white, fragrant, 5-15 in erect racemes.  Fruit 1-1.5 cm, rounded, purple-black, edible, sweet.
  • Sun or part shade and ordinary garden soil.  Can be used for erosion control.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2      Native range from southern Alaska to California, east to the Dakotas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Arizona, mostly along river banks and moist thickets and forests.  The National Champion Amelanchier alnifolia, as of 2016, has a height of 44 ft  (13.4 m) and resides in Clackamus, Oregon (https://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/western-serviceberry-amelanchier-alnifolia-2/)
  • Fruit considered an emerging horticultural crop across the upper mid-west and Canadian prairies.
  • Several botanical varieties (with variation in their description and classification) and cultivars, including:
    • ‘Altaglow’  -  columnar to narrow conical, multi-stemmed shrub, my reach over 20 ft (6 m) tall, fruit is sweet and white (turns brown after picking), but not plentiful; very hardy.  It was introduced as an ornamental in 1958 in part because of its bright autumn foliage varying from yellow to orange to red to purple.
    • ‘Northline’  -  medium shrub, 6-10 ft (2-3 m) tall, upright oval, becoming spreading, suckers freely, outer branches arching, very hardy.  Introduced in 1960 by Beaverlodge Nursery in Alberta.
    • ‘Regent’  -  compact shrub, vigorous, good foliage, sweet fruit.
    • ‘Smoky’  -  grows to about 15 ft (5 m), branches ascending to arching, suckers freely.  One of the first cultivars released, in 1952 by Beaverlodge, Alberta. large fruit.
    • ‘Thiessen’  -  oval to round shape, to about 15 ft (5 m) tall.  Flowers earlier than other cultivars and has the largest fruit.  Selected in Saskatchewan an introduced in 1976.
  • See Dirr (1998) for descriptions of Amelanchier cultivars, many of which are derived from A. x grandiflora and A. laevis.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring flowering

    plant habit, spring flowering

  • plant habit, spring flowering

    plant habit, spring flowering

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • flower

    flower

  • plant habit, hedge, start of fruiting

    plant habit, hedge, start of fruiting

  • start of fruit development

    start of fruit development

  • developing fruit clusters

    developing fruit clusters

  • fruiting branches, summer

    fruiting branches, summer

  • fruit and leaves

    fruit and leaves

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • twig and buds, winter

    twig and buds, winter