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This is one of the earliest small trees or shrubs to bloom during the spring. Downy Serviceberry is fairly easy to identify as its young leaves are exceptionally hairy (especially on their undersides). It also differs from some Amelanchier spp. by having fine teeth along its leaf margins that extend all the way to the base. The quality of the fruit is variable, although it is usually inferior to the fruit of another native species, Amelanchier laevis (Smooth Serviceberry).  The hard heavy wood has been used to make tool handles in the past.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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