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Aronia arbutifolia - (L.)Pers.

Common Name Red Chokeberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Low woods, thickets, swamps, damp pine barrens etc[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Massachusetts to Minnesota and south to Texas and Florida.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aronia arbutifolia Red Chokeberry

Aronia arbutifolia Red Chokeberry


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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Aronia arbutifolia is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from October to December. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Pyrus arbutifolia.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[105]. It can also be dried and used for making pemmican[161, 183]. Fruit quality is rather variable, some forms are rather pleasant when fully ripe, especially if they have experienced some frost[2]. The fruit is about 7mm in diameter[200], it can hang on the plant for several months[235].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a moist peaty soil in full sun or partial shade[134]. Succeeds in most soils[1] but dislikes shallow chalk[200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[227]. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[184]. This genus is closely related to Sorbus species[200]. A suckering plant, it forms thickets in the wild[182]. Some named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Attracts birds, North American native, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 4. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is multistemmed with multiple stems from the crown [1-2]. The root pattern is flat with shallow roots forming a plate near the soil surface [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots outdoors or in a cold frame[113]. Pre-soak stored seed overnight and then cold stratify for 3 months at 2°c[113]. The seed germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[200]. Very easy, they can be planted straight out into their permanent positions. Layering[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Aronia melanocarpaBlack Chokeberry, Black Berried AroniaShrub2.5 3-8 MLMHSNDM312
Aronia prunifoliaPurple ChokeberryShrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNDM20 
x Sorbaronia hybridAronia x mountain ashTree3.0 3-8 MLMHNM302

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Prof. Helmut Halbmayr   Thu Jul 27 22:42:18 2000

Dear Sirs,

we are working with Aronia on our Horticultural College. I found during surfing in the internet the facts about Aronia in PFAF. If you want you should supplement some data:


'Aron' (Denmark, 1985) - 1,5-2 m, leaves 8x5 cm, fruits 10-12 mm

'Autumn Magic' (University of British Columbia, 1996) - 2 m, leaves 5x3 cm, red and yellow autumn color.

'Elata' (syn. var. elata) - 2-3 m, leaves 3-8 x 2-5 mm, fruits 6-8 mm

'Estland' (syn. Eastland)- 2-2,5 m, leaves 6 x 4 cm, fruits 8-10 mm

'Grandiflora' (var. grandiflora) - 2,5 m, leaves 7 x 5 cm, fruits 10-12 mm

'Hugin' (University of Sweden, 1992) - 1-2 m, leaves 5x3 cm, fruits 6-10 mm. Flowers 3 weeks later than the other cultivars.

'Karhumäki' (Finland) - 3m, leaves 8x5 cm, fruits 9-10 mm


'Nero' (Tschechia, 1987) - 3m, leaves 10x8 cm, fruits 9-10 mm. Most importants cultivar for fruit production. Many new crosses with this cultivar.


'Serina' (Germany, 1987) - 2,5 m, leaves 10x7 cm, fruits 12-13 mm

'Viking' (Finland, 1980) - 2,5 m, leaves 7x4 cm, fruits 10-13 mm

Several Polish new cultivars with numbers are tested in Polan and USA.

Medicinal Use

leaves and fruits against high blood pressure. (Juice can be dangerous for persons with low blood pressure). Fruits against gastritis. Fruits help to excrete heavy metals.

Other uses

The fruit is a source of anthocyanes, substances to color foodstuff, preventing types of cancer.

Prof. Helmut Halbmayr, Federal Horticultural College, Gruenbergstrasse 24, A-1131 Vienna, Austria

Helmut   Sun Jul 30 11:56:00 2000

Rich >> We have three different species in the Aronia genus Aronia arbutifolia, Aronia melanocarpa and Aronia prunifolia does this refer to all of then or just one species? >>

Cultivars of Aronia exists from all 3 important species (Aronia melanocarpa, A. x prunifolia, A. arbutifolia). Aronia arbutifolia is only important for cultivars with nice autumn colour. The other two are used for fruit production. In Poland European enterprises plant large new areas with Aronia (jam for joghurt and medical use). Now Americans start in northern China for juice.


David Everett   Tue Dec 26 2006

Stop press! Stop press! It seems you haven't heard about Aronia melanocarpa, an extraordinary medicine and health plant which has been developed and grown in Poland. It has an incredible array of health qualities. Last year Professor Iwona Wawer published a book all about it. Known as Chokeberry, the native Americans used it as an essential ingredient of pemmican (dried meat), and not without reason. It has a higher concentration of vitamin C than blackcurrants, but it also contains a host of other valuable substances, especially antioxidants, polyphenols, bioflavonoids, tannins, etc. It is a very hardy and vigorous plant. The book is still difficult to obtain, even with the ISBN (83-923931-0-4). The printers are Nature's Print Ltd., Suite 4, 34 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0RH (no phone no. given). If you still have difficulty, and want to know more, contact Polfrutz Ltd, 2 George St, Wellington TA21 8JA.

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