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Amelanchier stolonifera
Running serviceberry

Culture: Preferring moist, well-drained, acidic soils, this species can tolerate full sun to partial shade and most non-alkaline soil types. It should be transplanted balled and burlapped and requires little maintenance.

Like most members of Rosaceae, the running serviceberry has a potential for numerous problems, mainly in the form of rusts, fire blight, powdery mildews, and leaf miners. Other problems could include borers, mites, scales, and sawflies.

Usage: This is probably my favorite amelanchier, providing all of the characteristics of its big brothers and sisters in a more diminuitive, easily managed form. Ideal for those lacking space, the species boasts the same showy flowers, edible fruit, and excellent fall color as most amelanchiers -- the only thing lacking is the showy bark, which is somewhat compensated for by the gray, erect stems. I hope to see this species, along with A. humilis, take their rightful places in the nursery industry. I used to have one of these in my yard, but alas, it succumbed to an encroaching forsythia and was choked out. Somehow, there just never seems to be enough time to keep the garden perfect.

In general, the flowers and fall color show best against dark backgrounds or in dark corners. It is probably best in front of an evergreen backdrop, such as Tsuga or Thuja, making the winter stems and white spring flowers extremely noticeable. In addition, a green backdrop provides an excellent foil for the near scarlet autumn coloration of the species. It is probably best used as an accent plant in a shrub border, along foundations, or as a low hedge.

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