Amelanchier nantucketensis
Common Name: Nantucket serviceberry 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Northeastern North America
Zone: 3 to 6
Height: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Prune out dead and weakened shoots in late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Amelanchier nantucketensis, commonly called Nantucket juneberry or Nantucket shadbush, is a compact, slender, low-growing, deciduous shrub in the rose family. It typically grows to 4-5’ tall, spreading over time by stolons to form dense colonies. It is a globally rare shrub that is primarily native to sunny, dry, sandy habitats including old fields, grasslands, sandplains, pine barrens, ridges/ledges, roadsides and disturbed sites in a very limited number of locations scattered mostly along the Atlantic coastal plain from Nova Scotia and Maine to Massachusetts (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard), New York (Long Island), New Jersey, Maryland and the northeastern tip of Virginia. It is also sometimes found along rivers and lakes. This shrub is noted for its (1) small 5-petaled white flowers which bloom in short racemes in April-May, (2) edible fleshy dark blue to black berries (pomes to 3/8” diameter) which ripen in June-July, (3) finely-toothed, glabrous, shiny green leaves (to 1 1/2” long) from spring to fall, (4) orange-red fall foliage color, and (5) presence of pollen directly on flower petal margins (andropetalous). Amelanchier stolonifera forma micropetala is now considered by some authorities to be synonymous with A. nantucketensis, which has slightly expanded the limited geographic range of the within species.

This species is similar to Amelanchier obovalis (coastal juneberry which is native to coastal plain woods from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia south to Georgia and Alabama) except for its small hairless shiny leaves (to 1 1/2” long) with hairy leafstalks.

This species is a fully sponsored plant on the CPC (Center for Plant Conservation) National Collection of Endangered Plants list, with The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University as primary custodian.

Genus name comes from a French provincial name for Amelanchier ovalis a European plant in this genus.

Specific epithet is in obvious reference to Nantucket Island where this plant is somewhat common.

Common names of juneberry (fruits mature in June) and shadbush (shad begin to run in local rivers at the time of flowering) are descriptive of shrub characteristics.


No serious insect or disease problems. Rust, leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew and canker are occasional disease problems.


Difficult to acquire in commerce. Attractive shrub for lawns, shrub borders, woodland margins or native plant areas. Good plant for bird gardens (birds love the berries). Naturalized plantings.