Asheville, Blog, NC

Mystery tree – Identified as Service Berry

Amber Shehan June 14, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 1.37.52 PM


This tree has been identified as a Service Berry, thanks to Iela on Facebook

In my meandering walks to and from work, I spend quite a bit of time gazing at the plants that surround me. From manicured lawns to huge, wild rosebushes that beg for pruning, to sprawling carpets of herbs and flowers, there’s plenty to enchant my eye. I use this time to practice my identification and recall of plant names and their properties, if I know them.

I recently was surprised by a tree that I haven’t yet identified. It was covered in berries for only a week and then was back to leaves. Do you recognize this Mystery Tree?

The berries were plump, but soft. They look rather like blueberries with the little crown on one end, but they were as soft as overripe blueberries and definitely not as tasty. The berries had purplish juice in them, and tiny seeds instead of a big pip in the middle. After a minute of holding the berry, squishing one of them to explore it, and rubbing the juice on the skin of my inner arm to test for a reaction…I tasted a bit of it. It was slightly tart and slightly sweet, and reminded me a bit of persimmon.

There was a grackle happily plucking berries from the tree as I walked past it the next day. It eyed me suspiciously, wondering if I’d steal more of it’s breakfast. 🙂

Oh, and this was outside of a condominium complex, so most of the plants in the space are ornamentals. There are magnolias and weeping cherries in the same strip of land. Odds are that the fruit wasn’t exactly edible, but I didn’t eat enough to hurt myself, I promise.

Does anyone have any idea of what this tree might be?

Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


  1. wendy peeters on June 27, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Also known as Saskatoon Berry

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