Tree of the Week: Black Chokeberry (Aronia melonocarpa)

February 20, 2014

Orginially written by Ryan Murphy

Edited by Brianna Egge

Our research nursery here on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus has a variety of species including a new favorite of mine – Aronia melonocarpa (black chokeberry). “Black chokeberry is an open, upright, spreading, somewhat rounded but leggy, deciduous shrub which typically grows 3-6′ (infrequently to 9′) tall; features clusters of 5-petaled, white flowers in spring which are followed in early autumn by blackish purple, blueberry-sized fruits; and has lustrous, dark green foliage that turns an attractive purplish red in autumn” (chokeberry page). A. melonocarpa is found naturally in swampy wooded areas in North America. It can survive in both full sun and partial shade. The plant prefers a slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0 to 6.5), however, is tolerant of a wide pH range (pH 5.0 to 8.5). Aronia is a good substitute for those growers who would love to grow blueberries but do not want to deal with dropping their soil’s pH into blueberry’s preferred range (pH 4.0 to 5.0). The other awesome thing about this plant is the highly nutritious berry. The fall berries are super-rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins as well as a variety of other minerals and vitamins. The visual appeal of this plant’s white flowers in the spring, attractive color in autumn, and nutritious berries make this a very exciting plant indeed. 

Aronia melonocarpaAronia melonocarpa berries

                     Photo Credit: BotBln                                                 Photo Credit: Pawvic


All photos and references are used for educational purposes only.

 

Photos

  1. BotBln. "Aronia melanocarpa fruit and leaves." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 13 September 2006. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2BCg4Ux>
  2. Pawvic. "Aronia melanocarpa fruit." Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons, 11 July 2007. Digital Image. 22 December 2017. <http://bit.ly/2pfwIDn>

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