Black Chokeberry - aronia melanocarpa

Black Chokeberry - aronia melanocarpa


Organically grown – currently available for pick up only.


Hardy deciduous shrub that will reach maturity in five years, the black chokeberry is a perfect choice for naturalizing. If left alone, the plants can form colonies that provide food and shelter for wildlife. Black chokeberry is adorned with larger leaves, fruits and flowers, and ends the growing season with a spectacular fall color.

A member of the rose family, Aronia melanocarpa tolerates partial shade (up to 50 percent) but thrives in full sun. An excellent choice for those tough, low-lying wet areas where only moss and mosquitoes flourish. It can acclimate itself to dry, sandy locations as well.

The leaves of black chokeberry emerge a medium green, followed in early spring by a showy display of clustered white flowers borne in corymbs 2 to 2 1/2 inches across. As the season progresses, the leaves turn a deep, glossy green, which brightens the plant and heightens its appeal during the dog days of summer. In mid- to late summer, the berries start to develop; within two weeks many of the branches droop with heavy clusters of fruit.

Ripening a purplish black, the 1/3- to 1/2-inch berry persists into January — unappetizing for birds (hence the name), but wonderful for winter interest.

Black chokeberry is an adaptable tough shrub because of its hardiness and wide tolerance to a variety of soil textures, densities, pH levels, and moisture conditions.

Plant description
Mature height: 3 to 8'
Mature width: 2 to 6'
Growth rate: Medium
Plant form: Upright, rounded
Deciduous or evergreen: Deciduous
Native range: Newfoundland south to Georgia; West to Minnesota and Arkansas

Light: Prefers full sun, tolerates partial shade
Soil texture: clay, loam, sandy
Soil pH: prefers 5.1-6.5; tolerates higher
Soil moisture: poorly-drained to well-drained and moist to wet soils.
Hardiness zone: 3 to 8
Pests and stresses: None serious.
Other: salt tolerant, tolerant of compacted, wet, and dry soils. Suckers to form colonies. Browsed by deer and rabbits.

A. melanocarpa can be used as an edible fruit crop although the fruit is too astringent to eat raw. The fruit is used instead in baking and to make jams, jellies, syrup, tea, juice, and wine. Black chokeberry now ranks high among health foods because its blueberry-sized fruit possess the highest level of antioxidants among temperate fruit species.

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