Shadbush : Description

Shadbush Bark

Shadbush bark

It is an attractive tree though not of value for timber because it is a small tree. Mostly, the plants could reach heights of 25-30 feet with a trunk diameter of about eight inches. It grows slowly but it is an early blooming species. The small tree is featured by lovely grey barks and showy flowers, as well as terrific berries for pies and gorgeous fall colors.

Shadbush Flowers

Shadbush flowers. Hough, M. 2010.

The shadbush is distinguished by its clusters of white, five-petaled flowers. The petals are around 10-14mm long. Before the blooming, the buds can be 10-12mm in length. They grow at the tips of the branches. In the north woods, they bloom during mid-late April, before the leaves appear on the tree. The flowers stay for 4-7 days.


Shadbush Leaves

Shadbush leaves. Montgomery Co. 2011.

The leaves are between one and three inches long and egg-shaped to inverted-egg-shaped. The undersides of the leaves are covered in fine, soft hairs when they are young, which help the plant to keep warm near the leaves in cold weather.


Shadbush Fruits

Shadbush berries. Strang, John. 2012.

The fruit of the shadbush is dark blue, small, and sweet-tasting. Its appearance is similar to a blueberry but does not share its flavor. The fruit changes color throughout its growth. First it is red, and then it turns to purple, black, or creamy white. It depends on the species and where it grows. While the seeds are larger and more noticeable than those in blueberries, they are soft and not objectionable.