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Close-up bright white flowers of Oregon's native Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Amelanchier alnifolia, western serviceberry, branches in a forest setting
Amelanchier alnifolia, western serviceberry, berries on the branch

Western Serviceberry

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Amelanchier alnifolia

  • Size at maturity: 4-12' tall
  • Canopy layer: large shrub
  • Light requirements: full sun to part sun
  • Moisture requirements: dry, moist to seasonally wet soil
  • Growth rate: medium
  • Special features: edible

The Western Serviceberry is covered with compact clusters of 1” white flowers from April to June. The flowers are soon replaced with 1/4” reddish fruits, that turn nearly black when they are ripe in August. The edible fruits are sweet and very appealing to many birds. The leaves of the Western Serviceberry (also called ‘Saskatoon’) turn yellow in the fall. (Portland Plant List, 2016)

Western Serviceberry is a beloved flowering landscape shrub in the PNW by both gardeners and wildlife.  Gardeners new to Western Serviceberry should be aware that the plant is very susceptible to Cedar Rust, which has become widespread in the region.  Cedar rust is transmitted by fungus spores from nearby cedars and junipers and causes bright orange spots on the plant.  Recommend that gardeners avoid planting Serviceberry near cedars or junipers to avoid rust.


Photo Credit 1: "File:Erlenblättrige Felsenbirne (Amelanchier alnifolia) 5654.JPG" by Hedwig Storch is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo Credit 2: "2010.07.04-18.47.25_IMG_8729" by AndreyZharkikh is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit 3: "Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)" by GlacierNPS is marked with CC PDM 1.0