Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a somewhat wide range of soils, but prefers moist, well-drained loams.
Amelanchier lamarckii is of unknown origin. Although generally considered to be a distinct North American species, some experts believe it to be a naturally occurring hybrid that comes true from seed and designate it as A. x lamarckii. Of the hybrid theorists, some claim the parentage to be A. canadensis x A. laevis, whereas others assert the parentage to be A. arborea x A. laevis and find synonymity with A. x grandiflora. In light of this confusion over designation, it is not clear that all samples sold in commerce as A. lamarckii will in fact be A lamarckii. Nevertheless, this serviceberry is a deciduous, understory tree or tall shrub that typically grows 15-25’ tall. It is very similar in appearance to A. laevis, with the exception that its young stems and leaves are sericeous (silky haired) whereas those of A. laevis are smooth. Otherwise both plants feature showy, 5-petaled, slightly fragrant, white flowers in drooping clusters that appear in early spring (April) before the leaves. Flowers give way to small, round, edible berries which ripen to dark purplish-black in June (hence the common name of Juneberry) and resemble blueberries in size, color and taste. Berries are often used in jams, jellies and pies. Finely-toothed, elliptic to oblong leaves (to 3” long) emerge bronze-purple in spring, mature to dark green in summer and turn red-orange in fall.
Species name honors Jean Baptiste Antoine Monet de Lamarck, 18th century French naturalist.
No serious insect or disease problems. Rust, leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew and canker are occasional disease problems.
Attractive understory tree for lawns, shrub borders, woodland margins or native plant areas. Shrub forms can be grown as tall informal hedges or screens. Good plant for bird gardens (birds love the berries).