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March Plant of the Month at the Visitor’s Center!

Allegheny serviceberry

(Amelanchier laevis): 

I have featured this small tree before in other Bernheim programs, but couldn’t pass up featuring it as the pick of the month for March! Nothing compares to a serviceberry to welcome in the first signs of spring. Serviceberries usually send out dainty white flowers in April, though some years it has started to bloom in early to mid-March. White clouds of very delicately perfumed blossoms cover the entire tree and set off the slate gray bark. Soft green leaves emerge after flowering, much like many of our other early spring bloomers.

Plant this small tree in dappled shade, as it is naturally an understory tree. Also, plant it in close proximity to a window, as the bluish-purple berries that mature in mid-summer will draw all types of birds (unless of course you beat the birds to the edible fruits, which is a challenge!) In the fall, the color of the leaves is spectacular, ranging from orange to yellow to purple hues. An all season, low-maintenance beauty, the Allegheny serviceberry is my favorite pick for the coming spring!

Amelanchier laevis 2