By Common Name‎ > ‎Wildflowers N-Z‎ > ‎

Serviceberry

Serviceberry or Saskatoon, Amelanchier alnifolia


Service-berry in bloom, photographer Martha Rasmussen

Service-berry also called "Saskatoon" which was shortened from the Blackfoot Indian name "Mis-ask-wu-toomina,"  its small blue fruits were an important ingredient in making pemmican. In the Appalachians the Spring blooming flowers were gathered in profusion for Easter Service, thus the common name Service Berry was given to this shrub.


The Service-berry is a hardy native shrub growing in profusion in the Darrington area thanks to the tasty small fruits eaten by many species of birds which widely sow the seeds in their droppings.  The fruits too have been an important food source to the early settlers for making pies, preserves and wine.  The shrub tends to grow 5 to 15 feet tall however one was recorded at 30 feet tall.


Service-berry grows abundantly in the Darrington area and will begin blooming in April.  You will find it growing along roadways, trails, in fields, and as a treasured shrub in local gardens.