The Black Chokeberry is a flowering shrub that is valued by many gardeners as a visually pleasing and—quite literally—tasteful addition to their landscapes. Given its snow-white blossoms, ink-black berries, crimson-red foliage, and its appeal to birds and wildlife, it could arguably be regarded as the fair Snow White of the plant kingdom. Unlike the unfortunate apple featured in that Brothers Grimm tale, however, this shrub’s berries are chockful of antioxidants and are a prized ingredient in many jams, jellies, and juices.
This species is one of the most vibrant shrubs of its kind that are native to the United States. Medium-sized, typically extending to a height and width of 3-6 ft., the Aronia Melanocarpa is widespread throughout all of eastern North America. Boasting a 3-8 hardiness zone rating, it can be found from Newfoundland to Georgia and westward from Minnesota to Arkansas. Adaptable and hardy, the Black Chokeberry tolerates salt, compact soil, dry or wet conditions, various pH levels, and is resilient to most types of pests. It thrives especially well in medium to wet well-drained soils, and becomes a strongly suckering plant when it is well-tended in cultivated landscapes.
Retaining its beauty year-round, the best seasons for the Black Chokeberry are Spring and Autumn. In May, the shrub erupts in white blossoms with dainty rose-pink anthers; in the summer, the clustered flowers are followed by bunches of fruit: dark, glistening berries that resemble black grapes or olives. The berries are edible (though sometimes astringent when raw), and much appreciated by wildlife and humans alike; they are most frequently used in cooking. As the season shifts to cooler months, the Black Chokeberry’s deciduous and fine-toothed dark green leaves turn glorious shades of copper, scarlet, orange, and gold before they are shed, revealing the tree trunk’s smooth brown bark.Because of its compact size, flashier colors, and rounded form, the Black Chokeberry is sometimes preferred over other similar shrubs. Generally, it is regarded as being more user-friendly. Especially in a limited space, however, it should be maintained carefully in order to control the suckers (if so desired) and to retain a clean environment.
This Tree's Zone: 3 to 8
Your Growing Zone:
|Fall Foliage||Red, yellow, and orange|
|Shape||Rounded to irregular|
|Sun||Full sun to part shade|
|Size||3 to 6 feet|
|Spread||3 to 6 feet|