Service berry is known by at least 8 other common names, including shadbush, sugar plum, and Indian cherry. It has showy, white flowers and is among the first of Missouri's native plants to bloom in the spring.
It's value to the ecosystem is quite high. At least 35 to 40 birds as well as a dozen mammals eat the fruit, which can be very sweet. If you can beat the birds to the red fruits, service berries can be eaten raw or used in a variety of recipes. The flowers attract a variety of insects that are looking for nectar early in the year: honeybees, native bees, beetles and more. You can find the caterpillars of several species of moth and butterfly on service berry foliage, which will entice birds well after the fruit is gone.
The edible fruits are sweet and can be eaten raw or used according to recipe.