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ARONIA prunifolia

Image of Aronia prunifolia

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

ARONIA prunifolia

Plant Common Name

Purple Chokeberry

Special Notice

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

General Description

Dainty white flowers dot this shrub's foliage in late spring, followed by astringent deep purple berries in summer and red fall foliage. The purple chokeberry is a thicket-forming upright deciduous shrub from the eastern United States, regarded as a naturally-occurring hybrid between the red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa).

The foliage is green, becoming deep green with a hint of gray because of the sparse hairs on the undersides of its rounded oval leaves. In mid- or late spring, many small five-petaled flowers occur in clusters along the branches, attracting bees for pollination. By mid- to late summer, a dense crop of small deep purple berries ripen and are edible but astringent, causing most people to "choke" from the taste. These berries often persist into midwinter, and are a food source for birds. In autumn, the foliage turns to shades of brilliant orange-red to a rich royal burgundy-red.

Grow purple chokeberry in full sun to partial shade, realizing flowering and fruiting is most abundant in full sun. Adaptable to many soils, it excels in moist, acidic soils that are rich in humus, but tolerates any well-draining or seasonally soggy fertile location. To prevent a thicket from forming, suckers (sprouts arising from the spreading roots) should be pruned away on a regular schedule. Use chokeberry as an informal hedge or windbreak, or as a mixed border specimen if kept pruned to a single plant. It is best planted in a location where it can form a small thicket such as the edge of a woodland or along the shores of a pond.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Width

    6'-9' / 1.8m - 2.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Purple

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Dark Red, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Edible, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No