|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
|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:||6-8 feet|
|Plant Spread:||4-6 feet|
|Leaves:||Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Other: Glossy, dark green leaves (to 3" long) are grayish-green beneath. Foliage turns bright red in autumn.
Edible to birds
Other: Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Attractive glossy red berries (3/8" diameter). Fruits ripen in late summer and persist 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
Blooms on old wood
Other: White to pinkish
|Suitable Locations:||Bog gardening
|Uses:||Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
|Toxicity:||Other: Tart and bitter berries which are technically edible but so astringent as to cause choking in those who try.
|Propagation: Other methods:||Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
|Miscellaneous:||Tolerates poor soil
|Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 5, 2013 3:28 PM
Brilliantissima is a variety of red fruited chokecherry. The berries start out green and by late fall are a brilliant vivid red color. I originally bought this shrub to produce berries to attract the backyard songbirds, but I have never seen any birds eat the fruit.
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|Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 18, 2017 9:44 PM
This Brilliant Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia "Brilliantissima') is the common form of this species that I have seen around so far. I think that I have seen a few wild specimens of the mother species near Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Colonial Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park in southeast PA, and young plants coming up in Volo Bog in northeast Illinois. This cultivar was selected for its great red fall color and slightly larger and more abundant fruit than the mother species. This species has beautiful smooth, gray bark, lovely smooth foliage, good fall color, pretty white flowers, and is a clean plant. It does send out some ground suckers around it, and the wetter the soil, the more suckering. The red fruit is very bitter all autumn and winter, but the birds, that don't really like the taste most of the time, will finally eat some when really needy in late winter - early spring. I saw a small flock of robins on March 3rd, 2019, descend upon three of these shrubs and eat some of the dried up, brown fruit. (The Black Chokeberry fruit tastes much better, though still somewhat tart, and the birds do happily eat the black fruit.) Red Chokeberry's native range is from New York and southern New England down to central Florida, then over into east Texas. In nature it is found most often in bogs, swamps, and along watercourses in draining wet, acid soils, but sometimes along woods and old fields more upland. Red Chokeberry and its 'Brilliant' cultivar do well in regular landscapes. I like its upright, often leggy, and sort of see-through aspect. Many native and conventional nurseries sell some of this cultivar. Landscape architects and designers and horticultural enthusiasts use this lovely plant much more than the average homeowner, the latter who does not know it. One tends to see it more at arboretums, estates, well-to-do properties, city parks, college and office park campuses, etc.
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