Black Chokeberry- Aronia melanocarpa is a native shrub once found throughout the upper mid-west and northeastern United States. This is an attractive member of the rose family without thorns. Glossy green foliage in summer with clusters of 1/3″ flowers in April or May.
The fruit is interesting. It gets its name because it is highly astringent. That said, it is used in jams, jellies and syrups. They can also be used in wine , beer, teas salsas and ice cream. It is very high in antioxidants. Though tart, the fruit is relished by songbirds especially during the late winter when other foods are scarce.
Fall color is a kaleidoscope of orange, wine red and burgundy.
Chokeberry is a suckering shrub that naturalizes well. This will make a thick bushy hedge. They are better in groups as they tend to be a little loose as single plants. On a good site they might grow to 10′ but most will be around 6′ high.
In nature these plants are found on low ground, in swamps and boggy areas but also occasionally on dry sites. It will do best with adequate moisture but can take periodic drought. It will bloom best and produce the most fruit with full sun.