‘Forest Prince’ serviceberry is a hybrid cross between two native serviceberry species, A. arborea and A. laevis. It has an oval habit.
Amelanchiers are early flowering understory trees offering four-season interest. Delicately drooping, strap-like, fragrant white flowers in spring appear just before the leaves unfurl; small red-purple berries in summer; reddish-orange fall color; and gray bark in winter. Leaves are entire with a serrate margin. Branches are produced in flat planes. Bark is smooth but may fissure with age. Amelanchier flowers have 5 petals and stamens in multiples of 5. Berries resemble (and taste somewhat like) blueberries but are on a long pedicel. Berries have a glaucous (waxy) coating; they emerge red and age to a purplish-blue.
These tough trees are tolerant of a wide range of soils, salt, drought, heat, compacted soil, air pollution and a wide range of pH. Root suckers are common, and if not removed, will result in a shrubby growth habit for the plant.
Amelanchiers support over 100 species of moth and butterfly caterpillars, including the red-spotted purple and viceroy. Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Amelanchiers are a special value to native bees. The fruit is eaten voraciously by songbirds, so if you want to try a berry, you need to be quicker than those hungry birds!
Grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24″ per year.
Height: 15-25 ft.
Spread: 8-12 ft.
Bloom time: Spring
Sun: full sun to part shade
According to Rutgers University, Amelanchier sp. are “seldom severely damaged” by deer.
photo credit – Peganum