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
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Shrubs

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Deciduous

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Birmingham, Alabama

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

6
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 15, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Easy to grow. Thrives in sunnier locations.

Those interested in heavier fruiting varieties should consider 'Viking" and "Nero" cultivars.

Wet foliage is particularly prone to powdery mildew and rust, the latter of which causes gradual defoliation. If there are any nearby plants that harbor a fungus, this species will likely become infected. Keep Bordeaux mixture handy.

Neutral

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

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

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 t... read more

Positive

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

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

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

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.