The shadblow serviceberry grows 6 to 20 feet in height and tends to be upright in habit but spreads by suckers. White, 5-petaled flowers that bloom in mid-spring cover the plant with a billowy cloud of white. A sweet, dark purple fruit maturing in midsummer is highly prized by birds and people. Its fall color is rangrs from yellow to orange to red.
Members of the genus Amelanchier offer four seasons of interest -- small white flowers (occasionally pinkish) in spring, edible berries in early summer, attractive foliage color in fall and interesting bark/branch structure in winter. Common names for amelanchier include juneberry and serviceberry and refer to the blueberry-like fruit edible by humans and much beloved by birds. The species range from small trees to large shrubs, usually multi-stemmed. Found at woodland's edge in the their native habitats, amelanchiers are best used in a naturalistic setting in the home landscape.
Amelanchiers are native to temperate areas of North America and, to a lesser extent, of Asia and Europe. The genus includes about 20 species; hybridization efforts have tended to focus on enhanced fall foliage color. The Chicago Botanic Garden's collection includes more than 30 varieties and over 450 plants.