The beautiful blossoms of the aronia
Associated with cultures across Europe and North America for centuries as a source for jams, wines, and other foods, the chokeberry packs a powerful punch in the diet as well as the landscape. There are three main species: Red Chokeberry (A. arbutifolia), Black Chokeberry (A. melanocarpa), and Purple Chokeberry (A. prunifolia).
The name chokeberry comes from the incredibly bitter, astringent flavor of the raw fruit. Yet it becomes delicious when prepared or as an accompaniment to other fruits. On the plus side, birds and animals will generally spare eating the fruits until all other more palatable browse is gone.
And to boot, this health booster is loaded with antioxidants. POW!
This sweet shrub, also known as Aronia, brings beauty to the landscape throughout the year. Spring brings white or light pink flower clusters. Late summer brings fruitset of red, black, or purple fruits. Fall brings bright red foliage. The Red Chokeberry will hold its bright red berries through the winter for late season beauty and interest.
As a native edge species plant, this shrub grows great in full sun or partial shade underneath an overstory partner. The shrub is tolerant of medium drought conditions. Red Chokeberry reaches heights up to 12 or more feet at maturity, while the Black Chokeberry grows to a maximum of 6 feet, often lower. Purple Chokeberry, thought to be originally a hybrid of the two other species, tops out around 9 feet.