Aronia melanocarpa
Common name: 
Black Chokeberry
a-RO-nee-a mel-an-o-KAR-pa
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub, 3-5+ ft (0.9-1.5 m), rounded form; suckers and may form a large colony, twigs nearly glabrous.  Leaves alternate, simple, 2-5 cm long, obovate and often abruptly acuminate, finely serrated, glossy green above, lighter below, fall color from red, red-brown, to purple-black. (Reportedly true A. melantocarpa does not develop fall color and possibly selections with good fall color have A. arbutifolia in their makeup.)  Flowers white, 1.5 cm wide, 10-20 per cluster (corymb).  Fruit, pea size, glossy black, ripening in early fall.
  • Sun to part shade, low wet to sandy dry areas, very adaptable.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3    Native from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Michigan.  Some of the selections in commerce include, 'Autumn Magic', Iroquois Beauty™, Low Scape™ Mound, 'Viking', and A. m. var. elata.
  • The fruit is grown commercially and processed into juice.   
  • melanocarpa: melano, black; carpa, fruit
  • Common name: chokeberrry, comes from the extremely astringent taste of the fruit.  There is a report that birds generally avoid the fruit of Black Chokeberry until it has gone through several freeze-thaw cycles which reduces its astringency.  
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: east of Wilson Hall (near Adams and 11th St.).
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • leaves, flowers and fruit

    leaves, flowers and fruit

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • leafy shoot, summer

    leafy shoot, summer

  • leaves and ripening fruit, summer

    leaves and ripening fruit, summer

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • leaves and fruit, fall

    leaves and fruit, fall

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • fruit clusters, winter

    fruit clusters, winter

  • twig and buds, winter

    twig and buds, winter