- Highly adaptable shrub, growing in a broad spectrum of habitats from saturated wetlands to bone dry sandy soils. Tends to remain more compact in the drier soils and leggier in wetter soils. Tart berries are loaded with beneficial phytochemicals and have been grown commercially in eastern Europe for decades (Which is a really interesting story by the way, google Ivan Mitschurin to go down the rabbit hole…) Flowers are on the smaller side,dark colored anthers contrast against bright white flower petals. Stunning fall foliage of crimson red and luscious purple makes this plant a darned good option for replacing those burning bushes that seemed like such a good idea just a decade or so ago. Many varieties of Aronia have been developed with a focus on fruit production and for landscape aesthetics and function. Varieties ‘Viking’ and ‘Nero’ (developed in eastern Europe) produce larger more succulent berries that are a little less tart and are excellent for juicing; it has been recently shown that these varieties may actually be hybrids between Aronia melanocarpa and Mountain Ash (Sorbia sp.), which, believe it or not, are very closely related (you can kind of see it in the fruit). Compact landscaping varieties like ‘Ground Hugger’ were developed at UCONN, which has a long history of fascination with Aronia. On a mission to make native plants more palatable, lots of folks, myself included, prefer to use the name Aronia when talking about this plant; the name Chokeberry leaves a bad taste in your mouth for an otherwise outstanding plant that should be in everyone’s garden.
- $25, 2 gallon pots-18in to 24 in height