Black Chokecherry, Aronia melanocarpa

Black Chokecherry

Aronia melanocarpa

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Wet
Color: White
Fragrance: No
Height: 3-6 feet
Spacing: 3-6 feet

Black Chokecherry, Aronia melanocarpa, is an open, upright, spreading, somewhat rounded but leggy, suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows 3-6 feet tall. It is native to low woods, swamps, bogs and moist thickets but occasionally to dry upland areas. The root system consists of a woody branching taproot. This species occasionally forms large colonies, but this is uncommon.

It is noted for its 5-6 flowered clusters of white 5-petaled spring flowers. Each flower is about ½-inch across, consisting of 5 white rounded petals, a reddish green calyx with 5 short teeth, and about 16 stamens surrounding the styles in the center. The conspicuous anthers of the stamens are pink. While each flower is rather small, they are produced in abundance. The blooming period occurs during the late spring and lasts about 3 weeks. During late summer, each fertilized flower is replaced by a black leathery fruit containing several small seeds. This fruit is globoid and about 1/3-inch across. The mature fruits of Black Chokeberry are deciduous and fall to the ground within a short period of time. The deciduous leaves become bright yellow, orange, or red during the fall.

Habitats include sand prairies, sandy shrub prairies, hill prairies, thickets, sandy savannas, sandy areas along woodland paths, sandstone glades, rocky bluffs, moist sandy thickets, and bogs.

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants have a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Ability to withstand wet conditions makes it suitable for growing on the margins of ponds or streams.
  The dried fruits of this species are edible and various parts of the plant were used by Native Americans to favor meat.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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