Caption: Coastal Serviceberry (Amelanchier oblongifolia) is a small tree that blooms early in the growing season before the trees in the forest overstory have sprouted leaves. It only occurs in wetland forests and its white flowers are on display along U.S. Route 64 on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and along the Scuppernong Interpretive Boardwalk on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Serviceberry is a member of the rose family and its fragrant flowers attract large numbers of bees. It will bear fruit in early April before any other fruit is available to wildlife.
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of six national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.