Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a North American deciduous shrub. From its species name, melanocarpa, it bears black fruits, features white flowers as well as red fall foliage. Black chokeberry is a tough shrub that has wide tolerance to a number of soil densities, textures, moisture conditions and pH levels. It can be planted in hardiness zones 3 – 8 and grows to a mature height of between 3 – 6 feet tall and spreads to a width of 6 – 10 feet. It spreads to form a mound shape. This shrub grows well in wet and dry locations and in areas where the soil is acidic or alkaline. It thrives well in areas whose soil texture is sandy, loam or clay. It also does well in soil with a pH of 5.1 – 6.5 but it can tolerate higher values. The shrub can be planted in either partial shade or full sun. The black chokeberry's growth speed can be described as slow to fast depending on the prevailing environmental factors.
Black chokeberry leaves emerge in a medium green color and measure 1 -3". In early spring, the shrub has a showy display of white flowers in clusters referred to as corymbs. As the season advances, the leaves change to a deep and glossy green, which makes the shrub brighten as well as increase its appeal during the summer's dog days. From mid to the end of summer, the berries start developing and within a span of two weeks, the branches are overwhelmed with the fruit clusters. This makes the shrub acquire a purplish black appearance and the 1/3 – ½ inch berries continue developing until the month of January. At this time, they are usually unappetizing to birds.
Uses in Landscaping
Black chokeberry bush can be a great addition to your Landscape gardens with careful attention. The shrub can be grown in the garden in order to attract bees and birds to it. It can also be grown in the garden to act as a windbreaker.