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TREES & Plants

Black Chokeberry

Black chokeberry is a dependable small to medium sized shrub with upright, mounded habit. Small clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by glossy black fruit. Dark green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.

Botanical name: 
Aronia melanocarpa
All Common Names: 
Black chokeberry
Family (English): 
Rose
Family (Botanic): 
Rosaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Occasional drought
  • Wet sites
  • Occasional flooding
  • Road salt
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Wet soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Size Range: 
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Mounded
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Thicket-forming
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
Time of Year: 
  • Early winter
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
  • Late fall
More Information: 

Size

3 to 8 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide

Tree & Plant Care

A good shrub for low to wet locations in full sun to part shade; plant toward back of border; plants tend to sucker and be a bit leggy at the bottom.
Prune after flowering in spring.

Disease, pests and problems

No serious disease or insect problems
Prune out unwanted suckers to control size.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 6
Native the the northeastern United States and the upper Midwest.

Attracts birds & butterflies

Fruit is eaten by a number of bird species, usually in mid to late winter.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is brown and relatively smooth, with obvious lenticels.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, simple leaves; 1 to 3 inches long
Dark green foliage turns a deep mahogany red in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small clusters of white flowers in mid-spring

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)photo: John Hagstrom

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Purplish-black berry-like fruit (pomes)
 

Cultivars and their differences 

Iroquois Beauty™  (Aronia melanocarpa ‘Morton’ ):  2 to 3 feet high and  4 to 5 feet wide
Iroquois Beauty™ was selected at The Morton Arboretum and introduced by Chicagoland Grows® Introduction Program.