The amelanchiers are also known as shadbush, serviceberry or Juneberry. These are the first trees to bloom in the spring. There are several species of amelanchier that have edible fruits and several are used as ornamentals.
The plants grow in almost any soil and have purplish black fruits. The fruits are borne in clusters and each berry is usually less than a half inch in diameter although some types are larger. Birds are attracted to and eat the fruits.
They can be frozen or treated like blueberries.
Several species are listed below.
Amelanchier alnifolia - The fruit may be three quarters of an inch in diameter. The tree is 10 to 25 feet tall. The fruit are nearly black and ripen in July.
Amelanchier humulis - A low growing shrub that grows well in dry soil. The shrub grows 4 feet tall and has an upright growth habit. The fruit are black, sweet, juicy and ripen in August.
Amelanchier laevis - Allegany Serviceberry - This 40 foot tree is often grown as an ornamental. The fruit are red and ripen in July.
Amelanchier sanquinea - A 6 to 8 foot shrub that is one of the best amelanchiers for fruit production. The large, almost black fruit are juicy, sweet, and ripen in August and September. The fruit may be almost an inch in diameter.
Amelanchier stolonifera - A four foot shrub that spreads by suckers. The fruit are black, juicy, sweet and ripen in July.