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ARONIA melanocarpa 'Viking'

Image of Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking'

James Burghardt

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

ARONIA melanocarpa 'Viking'

Plant Common Name

Black Chokeberry, Black Chokecherry, Viking Chokeberry

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Small, pretty white blossoms in spring, orangey fall color and dark purplish-black berries make black chokeberry a great shrub for naturalistic massed plantings. An upright deciduous shrub that suckers to form a thicket of twigs and leaves, it is native to the moist soils of the eastern United States and a thin sliver of southeastern Canada. Individual plants have a cluster of many, thin, dark brown stems that have a white, waxy, semi-flaky film on the smaller, reddish-brown twigs. It is slightly shorter and denser in habit than its cousin, red chokeberry (A. arbutifolia).

Clusters of small,five-petaled white flowers appear in late spring and may have hints of pink. Bees pollinate the blossoms to form dangling clusters of purple-black berries that contrast with the gold, orange and orange-red leaves in fall. The fruits linger well into winter, finally being devoured by birds when other more tasty foods are gone.

Perfect for full sun or partially shaded spots, black chokeberry is most prolific in moist, fertile, well-drained, acidic soils. However, it adapts to many soils and light exposures, and it will produce a sparser thicket if placed in drier or less humus-rich ground. Full sun guarantees best fruiting and brighter fall leaf color. Use it in naturalistic garden designs, or as an accent shrub in a mixed border. It works terrifically well as a riverbank stabilizer, or in any large-scale planting in which a billowing mass is needed, especially in roadside ditches or moist swales around paved lots. Consider using the cultivar 'Autumn Magic' if you enjoy seeing larger and longer lasting black fruits on a more compact plant, or 'Morton,' an even smaller plant perfect for small yards or spaces.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    No