Foliage, berries, and structure of Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry)
Close-up of the glossy foliage and developing green berries of Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry)

Aronia melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry)

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Aronia melanocarpa, also called black chokeberry, is a medium to large-sized shrub found in forest understories and wetter, low-lying, part shade areas through much of the eastern half of the United States. Noted for its glossy black berries, which are tart, bitter, and astringent enough to occasionally cause choking (hence the plant's common name), but which are also well-regarded as an herbal supplement for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Aronia bushes typically grow to about three to six feet tall and wide, though occasionally reach heights of up to 10 feet. Preferring moist, occasionally wet soils with some organic nutrient availability, black chokeberry is tolerant of drought, but also wet or compacted soils, and performs best in full sun to part shade. Beyond its berries, Aronia melanocarpa is also well-regarded for its showy, 5-petaled white flowers which bloom from early to mid spring, and its attractive fall foliage in shades of red and purple. Due to its suckering nature and relatively large height, black chokeberry is an excellent choice for naturalizing in woodland gardens, growing as a hedge or border, or for planting in small groups for fruit production.

Native to U.S., Native to Maryland, and Straight Species
Mature Plant Height: Tall: 49-72" and Very Tall: 73" and up
Sun (6+ hours) and Part Shade/Sun (4-6 hours of sun)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Wet and Well-drained
Soil Type: Rich Organic Matter and Wide Tolerance
Bloom Time: Spring
Flower Color: White
Foliage color: Green
Features: Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Wildlife, Berries, Fruit, and Fall Color
Tolerances: Drought Tolerant, Wet Soil Tolerant, and Clay Soil Tolerant
Garden Type: Pollinator Garden, Woodland Garden, Specimen Tree, and Border/Screen

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