Allegheny serviceberry

(Amelanchier laevis)

Conservation Status
Allegheny serviceberry
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Allegheny serviceberry is a large shrub or small tree. It occurs in eastern North America, where it is native, from Nova Scotia to Maryland, west to Ontario, Minnesota and Iowa, and south along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. It is also cultivated in Europe. It is found in upland, deciduous and mixed forests, in thickets, and on roadsides. It grows under full or partial sun in dry or moderately moist, sandy or sandy-loamy soil. When growing in woodlands, it is a small, single-stemmed, understory tree up to 50 (15 m) in height and 7 (18 cm) in diameter at breast height. When growing in thickets, it is a tall shrub with up to 20 upright stems. It does not spread by underground horizontal stems (rhizomes).

The bark is thin, smooth, and ashy gray with dark, vertical lines when young. As it ages, it splits along the lines, developing long, dark, vertical furrows with smooth, flat ridges between them. On older bark, the flat ridges become rough and darkened, especially near the base.

First year branchlets are slender, greenish, and hairless. Second year branchlets are brown to reddish-brown. Terminal buds are reddish-green to reddish-yellow, up to ½ (13 mm) long, pointed, and covered with six visible scales. The second scale is less than half as long as the bud. When a leaf drops away, the scar that remains (leaf scar) has three raised areas (bundle scars).

The leaves are alternate. They are on hairless, to 1 (10 to 25 mm) long leaf stalks (petioles). Emerging leaves are hairless. They are distinctly coppery red and less than half unfolded at flowering time. Fully developed leaves are green, egg-shaped to elliptic or oblong, 1916 to 2¾ (40 to 70 mm) long, and 1 to 1916 (25 to 40 mm) wide. The leaf blades are rounded to slightly heart-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip with straight or concave sides along the tip. They are pinnately veined with 6 to 9 veins on each side. The veins join together (anastomose) before reaching the margin. The upper surface is dark green and hairless. The lower surface is pale green and hairless or almost hairless. The margins have 25 to 40 short, sharp, forward pointing teeth on each side, more than twice as many teeth as there are veins. The longest tooth is less than 132 (1 mm) long. The basal (proximal) half has usually 5 to 12 teeth, sometimes up to 19 teeth, on each side. The last (1 cm) has usually 5 to 9 teeth, sometimes up to 13 teeth.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, 1916 to 2¾ (40 to 70 mm) long cluster (raceme) of 5 to 12 flowers at the end of the stems and branches. The flowers appear from mid-April to late May. Each flower is on a hairless flower stalk (pedicel). The lowermost pedicels are to 1 (15 to 25 mm) long when in flower. One or two of the pedicels may be subtended by a leaf.

The flowers are large, about 1 in diameter, and showy. They have both male and female reproductive parts. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 20 stamens, and 5 styles. The sepals are green, triangular, and short, to 3 16 (2.5 to 5 mm) long. They are erect when in flower, bent backward when in fruit. The petals are white, narrowly inversely egg-shaped to oblong-linear, to (10 to 16 mm) long, and to ¼ (4 to 6 mm) wide. The ovary is hairless at the top.

The fruits are globe-shaped, ¼ to 516 (6 to 8 mm) in diameter pomes with 4 to 10 seeds each. They are on 1 to 1916 (25 to 40 mm) long pedicels. They are green at first, soon becoming red, then dark purple at maturity. They mature in early mid-July to late mid-August.




6½ to 50 (2 to 15 m)


Flower Color




Similar Species


The species epithet laevis means “hairless”, and this is the feature that best distinguishes Allegheny serviceberry from downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea).


Dry to moderately moist. Upland deciduous and mixed forests, thickets, and roadsides. Full or partial sun. Sandy or sandy-loamy soil.




Mid-April to late May


Pests and Diseases




Allegheny serviceberry has good quality fruits with a sweet tart flavor. Ripe fruit can be eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, and pies.


Distribution Map



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








Occasional or infrequent. Fairly common in just a few east-central counties.

  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 ssp. laevis

Amelanchier arborea var. cordifolia

Amelanchier arborea var. laevis

Amelanchier laevis var. nitida


Common Names


Allegheny serviceberry

smooth serviceberry

smooth shadbush












Referring to veins, such as on a plant leaf or a lichen, that branch and rejoin, forming a network.


Bundle scar

Tiny raised area within a leaf scar, formed from the broken end of a vascular bundle.



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.


Pinnately veined

With the veins arranged like the vanes of a feather; a single prominent midvein extending from the base to the tip and lateral veins originating from several points on each side.



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.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.





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I had several trees/shrubs that came down in heavy winter weather. Both of these bloomed and had fruit on them, although nearly knocked to the ground.

  Allegheny serviceberry  


    Allegheny serviceberry      


    Allegheny serviceberry   Allegheny serviceberry  


    Allegheny serviceberry      



Lassi Kalleinen

Feb 8, 2013

Amelanchier laevis blooming in the spring

Amelanchier laevis
The Tree Library
  Amelanchier laevis  

Allegheny Serviceberry




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Other Videos
  Amelanchier laevis Allegheny Serviceberry

Jun 15, 2012

Amelanchier laevis
Common name: Allegheny Serviceberry

Zones 4-8

Plant in 4+ hours of sun (full sun to part sun)

20'-40' H x 15'-20' W

Blooms: white fragrant flowers in spring. Fruits in mid-summer
Bright orange-red foliage in fall

Water: Average water needs

Uses: Flowering tree, street tree, Native, Naturalizing, Wetland Plant

Attracts butterflies & birds.

Easy to grow




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Location: Fairview Twp.

I had several trees/shrubs that came down in heavy winter weather. Both of these bloomed and had fruit on them, although nearly knocked to the ground.

Allegheny serviceberry





Created: 7/20/2023

Last Updated:

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