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Allegheny Serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry - Amelanchier laevis


Family: Rosaceae - Rose family Genus Common Name: Serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadbush Native Status: NativeShrub, Tree
Amelanchier laevis - Allegheny Serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry. The taxonomy of Amelanchier is a very confusing, not only to me but also to professionals. The genus has been divided into as few as 6 species and as many as 33. The USDA Plants Database currently lists 20 species with 28 total taxa. The University of Maine Department of Biological Sciences has excellent information about Amelanchier where they list 16 species and and 19 total taxa. ITIS lists 19 species.

Several Amelanchier are shrubs which do not achieve tree status, but A. laevis can be found as a shrub or a tree up to 25 feet tall. Most species are more or less hairy in their inflorescence and leaves, but A. laevis earns its Smooth Serviceberry common name (and its laevis species epithet) by being mostly hairless in those features. Another differentiator among species is petal length, width, and shape. This species has fairly long petals which are a bit broader relative to their length than most other regional serviceberries, and are normally oblong in shape.

Found in:
AL, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

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Amelanchier laevis

Distribution of Amelanchier laevis in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 22 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2008-April-02Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D40
The flowers of Amelanchier laevis have 5 white petals, 20 stamens, and 5 styles. The lack of hairs on the pedicels and leaves are key identifiers for this species - Smooth Serviceberry. The leaves are conduplicate - folded in half - at flowering.

This photo is of a tree planted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain in Walker County, Georgia. Normally I donít publish a species based on cultivated/planted specimens, but I was initially confused about the location for this photo, thinking it was taken in Grundy County, TN, where Amelanchier laevis is found. By the time I discovered my error, I didnít want to waste the research.
Amelanchier laevis

Site: Grundy County, TN Date: 2008-April-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D40
Itís hard to tell from this photograph but I think this is Amelanchier laevis, which is found in Grundy County, TN, where this photo was taken
Click on the photo for a larger image
Amelanchier laevis

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2010-November-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The fruit of the plant are technically pomes rather than berries. They will ripen to be a dark purple. They were used as food by native Americans, usually dried and saved for use as a winter food.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Amelanchier laevis

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer