Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black Chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aronia (ar-ROH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: melanocarpa (mel-an-oh-KAR-puh) (Info)

Synonym:Photinia melanocarpa
Synonym:Pyrus melanocarpa

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

28 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By grafting
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Mar 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An attractive, adaptable landscape plant whose natural habit is loose, open, and graceful. In the eastern North America, it's a native woodland understory shrub. In full sun it can develop good fall color. Its spreading suckering habit may rule it out for some uses.

The white May flowers are showy, but their scent is like pyracantha or Callery pears---most people find it malodorous.

The black fruit aren't showy like those of Aronia arbutifolia, and where used next to walkways they can stain the paving. I find them unpalatably bitter---note the name, CHOKEberry.

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 3, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a wonderful,clean, neat, medium sized shrub, usually 3 to 5 ft high, that should be used more by homeowners, not just landscape architects. Handsome foliage, good yellow or orange fall color, handsome buds, nice smooth gray bark. Closely related to Serviceberry (Amelachier) that are similar great plants. The black fruit is edible for birds and humans, though a little tart. There are cultivars grown for producing fruit juice that is very high in antioxidants. The plant does sucker some, especially in wet soils. Should be used much more. Good ecological value too. Coriaceous' neutral opinion above should be more positive. I have eaten the fruit and it is not bad.

Positive plant_it On Apr 28, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Spring flowers and attractive fall color and fruit give this shrub good ornamental value for the shrub border. Also effective grouped or massed in native plant gardens, open woodland or naturalized areas where its colonial growth habit need not be restricted. Ability to withstand wet conditions makes it suitable for growing along ponds, streams or water gardens.

Plant in full sun to part shade. Best fruit production in full sun. Gets 3 to 6 feet high with a spread of 3 to 6 feet.

Blooms in May with showy white flowers. Showy, edible berries that attract birds. Deer and rabbits don't like it much. Tolerant of wide range of soils, including both dry and boggy. Low maintenance. Will naturalize - spreads by root suckers to form colonies.

Native to Eastern North America.

Positive joandud On Jul 17, 2012, joandud from White Lake, MI wrote:

My experience is that this plant needs moist soil, especially if in full sun. When small it also needs TLC, but doesn't everything?

Positive akilgore42 On Apr 5, 2010, akilgore42 from Spokane, WA wrote:

This plant is very lovely due to it's elegant, upright growth habit. It is growing in a narrow space between my house and driveway as a foundation plant. It sends up new shoots and branches every spring, but is not invasive and is easily contained through simple pruning. It has pretty green leaves throughout the spring and summer, striking red foliage in fall, and the dark purple/black berries are beautiful throughout the winter. The berries are edible and supposedly have more antioxidants than a blueberry, though the variety I am growing do not have any flavor at all. However, I found they can be crushed and cooked with sugar to make a very lovely, dark purple dessert topping. Some European varieties have been bred for flavor and culinary use.

Positive LH1 On Sep 30, 2008, LH1 from Lincoln, NE wrote:

Multiple references, including USDA and taxonomic references, indicate that Aronia melanocarpa is NOT drought tolerant. In my experience, it is adapated to lower rainfall areas (we get roughly 27 inches/year mostly in summer) and does well in the landscape. It obviously can take some moisture stress without loss of fruit or leaves.

Neutral smiln32 On Oct 12, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant grows in nearly any environment, although it prefers sun over shade. The flowers, which open in late spring, are beautiful. The fruit is eaten by several varieties of birds.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Morrilton, Arkansas
Hawthorne, Florida
Effingham, Illinois
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Palatine, Illinois
Poplar Grove, Illinois
Valparaiso, Indiana
Okoboji, Iowa
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Roslindale, Massachusetts
White Lake, Michigan
Hibbing, Minnesota
Aurora, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Springfield, Ohio
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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