Right now the showiest foliage in my yard is displayed by ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’). I have six of these upright, multi-stem shrubs in a couple different spots in my yard, and I consider them pretty much indispensible. There are few shrubs that are happy in shade that have as much to offer.
The foliage turns to glowing red and orange fairly early in the season. Powdery mildew is an occasional problem, but never too serious for me. I think the color is just as striking as that of Burning Bush (Euonymous alata), which is considered invasive in some areas.
Serviceberry covers itself in white flowers in early spring. This year it was very early, the flowers were open by the last week of March.
And in June there are berries, which look very similar to blueberries. The berries are edible, some say they taste like a cross between blueberry and almond. They are also well-timed for the many birds nesting at that time. We like to watch the Robins hopping from branch to branch, helping themselves to the berries. They’re also a favorite of other fruit-eating birds, such as Cedar Waxwings.
While the books say this shrub grows 15-25′, the specimens I planted almost 10 years ago have grown from five to about twelve feet high.
What has the most colorful foliage in your yard right now? And have you had good or bad experience with Serviceberries?