Shrub Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Amelanchier alnifolia
Western Serviceberry
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

A small tree or shrub, generally with multiple trunks, growing to a height of 9 m and a diameter of 20 cm.

Western Serviceberry Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 2 - 5 cm long; broadly elliptical to nearly round; rounded at both ends; coarsely toothed above middle; usually with 7 to 9 straight veins on each side. Dark green and becoming hairless above, paler and hairy when young underneath. Bark: gray or brown; thin, smooth or slightly grooved. Twigs: reddish-brown; narrow, hairless. Flowers: 2 - 3 cm wide; with five narrow white petals; in small, terminal clusters; in spring with leaves. Fruit: 12 mm in diameter; small, apple-like, purple or blackish, edible, juicy and sweet with several seeds; appering early summer.


Native to central Alaska, southeast to Manitoba, western Minnesota, and east to Quebec; in moist soil conditions in forests and clearings.


The fruit of Western Serviceberry can be eaten off the bush; it is often prepared in pies and muffins; can also be dried like raisins and currants.

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