≡ Menu

Plant Profile: Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

chokeberry_red aronia_arbutifolia_brilliantissima_berriesA native of thickets in wet areas such as bogs and swamps from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Michigan, Missouri, and Texas, red chokeberry is a fine plant for problem areas with wet soil. It is leggy but suckers freely and can form a substantial clump that looks well at a woodland’s edge or along the edges of a steam or pond. It also tolerates drought but does not do well in dry, shallow, alkaline soil. In spring it offers clusters of attractive white flowers and dark green foliage; in fall it is noted for its striking red foliage and berries. The berries are edible but so astringent that they are not eaten by most wildlife and so persist into winter.

Type: Deciduous shrub

chokeberry red mb flOutstanding Feature: Red berries; fall coloration

Form: Upright when young; arching and vase-shaped in maturity

Growth Rate: Slow to medium

Bloom: Clusters of white flowers in mid spring

Size: 6-10’ H x 3-5’ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade but produces more fruit in full sun.

Soil: Prefers average, well-drained, slightly acid but tolerates both wet and dry soils.

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Care: Low maintenance; pruning is not usually necessary

Pests and Diseases: None of significance but susceptible to leaf spots and twig/fruit blight.

Propagation: Seed, collected in autumn and stratified for 3 months at 41o F.; leaf cutting; suckers

Outstanding Selection: ‘Brilliantissima’/’Brilliant’(more compact, more abundant larger berries, better fall coloration than species).

Plant profiles pointer