Aronia arbutifolia

Red Chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia grows in a vase-shaped form best used in mass plantings. It’s a native in both wet and dry landscapes in Eastern and Central Canada and the US. The best fruit and flower display occurs in full sun.

Showy in different seasons, clusters of white to light pink flowers appear in spring. The leaves are green and glossy throughout the summer and turn orangish-red or purple in the fall. Bright red berries appear in the fall and usually persist into winter.

The genus name, Aronia, if from the Greek “aria,” name for the species of Sorbus, whose fruits are similar to the Chokeberry. “Arbutifolia” means leaves that are like Arbutus. The common name, Chokeberry, refers to its tart and bitter berries that are so astringent they may cause choking.

Are they edible? The berries are tart and bitter. The Red Chokeberry’s fruits can be used in canning or making jams and jellies. Jellies are heavy, sweet, and solid due to the abundance of pectin. The Red Chokeberry can be eaten raw and is more palatable than the Black Chokeberry.

Uses: Border, Hedge, Pollinator Garden & Rain Garden.

SPECS: Genus: Aronia ; Species: Arbutifolia; Plant Type: Shrub, Tree; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade; Soil Moisture: Medium Wet, Well Drained; Height: 6′ — 12′; Spread: 5′; Plant Spacing: 4′ — 6′; Bloom Time: April — May; Bloom Color: Pink, Red, White; Advantages: Birds, Grassland restoration, Low maintenance, Perfect for rain garden, Pollinators, Privacy screen, Showy; USDA Zone: 3 — 9; Attracts: Beneficial insects, Bumblebees, Butterflies, Carpenter bees, Honey bees, Long-tongued bees, Moths, Small black bees; Tolerant: Clay, Salt, Wet soils; Plant Community: Companions to the Red Chokeberry are 'Blue Blaze' Arrowhead (Viburnum dentatum), 'Winterthur' Witherod (Viburnum nudum) and blackshaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium.;