Aronia Chokeberry

Aronia is indigenous in North America, and is clearly related to the pear (Pyrus) and rowanberry (Sorbus). Both the flowers and fruits, as well as the autumn foliage, are extremely attractive.

This deciduous shrub forms root suckers; it has spreading, shiny green, oval, pointed leaves covered with woolly hair on the underside, clusters of white or red flowers, and small, berry-like fruits.

A. arbutifolia, red chokeberry, is a slender shrub, 2-3 m tall, with felted, hairy stems, short-stemmed, dark green leaves which turn deep red, compact clusters of 9- white or pink flowers, 1 cm across, with five, spreading, round to oval petals and countless stamens, and dull or bright red fruits, 5-7 mm across; “Brilliant” has numerous bright red fruits. Suitable for dry soil.

A. melanocarpa, black chokeberry, 50-100 cm tall, has green leaves which turn brownish-red, white flowers, and shiny, spherical black fruits, 6-8 mm across; “Aron” has larger berries; suitable for moist soil.

This is an easy plant to grow in a sunny or slightly shady spot, in dry or moist soil.

It does not need pruning, but can be thinned out occasionally (early spring). Propagate from seed, by layering and from summer cuttings.

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