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Black Chokeberry

Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  3-8

Soil Type:  Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  5-10' Height and 5-10' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Dry to wet soils

Plant Characteristics

Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa

The Black Chokeberry is a small to medium sized deciduous shrub that is quite cold hardy. This highly adaptable shrub is at home in most soil types, and in dry to wet soils. Each spring, the Black Chokeberry produces clusters of small, white, five-petaled flowers which the local bee population is sure to enjoy. Berries form and ripen into a black color by late summer, and persist into winter. In autumn, the leaves of this shrub turn beautiful shades of red, orange and purple.

The berries of the Black Chokeberry are not pleasant tasting to humans when eaten raw, hence the name. However, when cooked, they do have culinary value. Its fruits are used in juice, alcoholic beverages and energy drinks. The berries can be canned whole or the juice extracted for jelly making. The antioxidant properties of its berries are extremely high, and some experts even call this fruit one of the healthiest on the planet .

More information on the Black Chokeberry:

  • The Black Chokeberry is a member of the rose family
  • This shrub will grow best in full sun, but is tolerant of partial shade
  • On mature shrubs, up to 30 lbs. of berries per year have been reported
  • The Black Chokeberry is generally free of pests and diseases

Fun Fact: The seeds contained in its berries are very small. In fact, it takes 276,000 seeds to tip the scales at just one pound.

Common uses for the Black Chokeberry include:

  • Edible berries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants
  • Attracts many types of birds and wildlife
  • Pleasant orange, red and even purple fall colors
  • Makes a great hedge or privacy screen
  • Ornamental and specimen plant
  • Good low level section of a windbreak

The Black Chokeberry is browsed by white-tailed deer and rabbits. Many songbirds enjoy the berries produced by this shrub. Game birds such as ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens will also eat its fruit. The flowers of the Black Chokeberry are valuable to small bees.