PlantsAronia→Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Red Chokeberry
Give a thumbs up Chokeberry
Give a thumbs up Red Chokecherry

Botanical names:
Aronia arbutifolia Accepted
Photinia pyrifolia Synonym
Pyrus arbutifolia Synonym
Aronia pyrifolia Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 6 - 12 feet
Plant Spread: 6 - 12 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Other: glossy dark green above and pubescent grayish-green beneath. Foliage turns bright red in autumn.
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Fruits ripen in late summer and persist on the shrub throughout fall and well into winter. Fruits are sometimes used to make tasty jams and jellies.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2009 Oklahoma Proven! plant selection


A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
By SongofJoy on July 13, 2014

The Nature Conservancy calls Tennessee the most biologically rich of all the inland states. As I walk through my property and neighborhood, I see many exotic plants. Fortunately, I also see an abundance of native plants.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 4:37 PM

Chokeberry, a member of the Rose family, is a lovely and useful small tree or suckering shrub for wet or dry places in sun or light shade. In late spring, it has fragrant, half-inch white flowers resembling wild roses. Summer foliage is a lustrous dark green and is followed by spectacular fall color ranging from fluorescent crimson to deep reddish-purple. The colorful leaves hold on well into the winter. But Chokeberry is also endowed with bright red berries that may be so plentiful as to weight down the branches. These, too, are long-lasting and persist through the winter as they are apparently distasteful to birds. Chokeberry is a very easy to grow shrub/tree with three plus seasons of interest. It looks especially outstanding when massed.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 4, 2018 11:34 AM

I may have seen a few specimens of the regular mother species of this Red Chokeberry at woodland edges at the Jamestown historical area in Virginia, but it was March and I was not sure. A few were planted in a marsh in front of the Colonial Plantation at Ridley State Park in southeast PA that may be the straight species. I saw some young wild straight species plants coming up in Volo Bog in northeast Illinois in August 2014. Otherwise, I have only seen the one really common cultivar of "Brilliantissima" and I planted 4 of such in my backyard in southeast PA. The cultivar has slightly larger berries that are a little more abundantly produced. Otherwise, the species is native in the USA from southern New England to northern Florida to east Texas to southern Arkansas into Tennessee to some spots in Ohio, being found in various wet areas of bogs, swamps, and banks of watercourses, usually in sandy or peatmossy acid soils. However, it will grow fine in many regular landscapes if the soil is not really alkaline. This shrub does send out some ground suckers, especially in wet soils; however, it is easy to prune the suckers or the plant. Easy to propagate from the suckers. Some native plant nurseries sell the straight mother species. Whether the species or a cultivar of it, Red Chokeberry is a high quality, clean, beautiful shrub with pretty foliage, bark, buds, flowers, and fruit and it should be used more in landscapes or in native plant restorations. (Red Chokeberry bears the red fruit that is usually slightly smaller than that of its sister the Black Chokeberry and later to ripen, in September rather than August, and the red fruit is very bitter to eat, so it got the name of "choke" berry. I have seen some Robins eating some fruit in late winter. The red fruit usually is red from late September into January, but during mild winters I have seen it still looking good into early April, before browning and shrivelling.) The Red species also has leaves that are more pointed and narrower than the Black species and the leaves of the former also display a nice whitish bloom on the underneath side, and usually emerge a little later in spring than the black species.

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Plant Events from our members
Yorkshirelass On October 1, 2007 Miscellaneous Event
Transferred from previous garden,
Planted in border with no.6.
2013 Moved to end bed
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Overgrown shrub ID? by Lmvantassel May 25, 2017 9:27 PM 7
Late summer, ornamental berries. by conniepr27 Sep 24, 2016 5:02 PM 15
transplanting? by outofthegreen Jul 19, 2016 8:06 PM 19
Yardening in the Mid-Atlantic by Eric4home Apr 14, 2021 9:34 AM 3,880
Cold Stream Farm by frankrichards16 Mar 3, 2015 7:14 PM 1
Red berried shrub ID by chickhill Nov 1, 2014 8:18 AM 4
Weather in our Mid Atlantic Gardens by Newyorkrita Apr 8, 2021 8:51 PM 5,256
Brilliantissima chokeberry - where to buy; when to plant? by sas Nov 2, 2013 6:49 AM 7
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Oct 10, 2020 8:42 PM 133

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