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Useful Temperate Plants

Aronia melanocarpa

(Michx.) Elliott

Rosaceae


The genus Aronia has been variously treated by botanists. The species intergrade, and this has led some botanists to treat the genus as comprising a single, very variable species (Aronia arbutifolia), whilst others have treated it as comprising several distinct species. We are following the current (2016) treatment of the genus in the Flora of North America, which recognizes two distinct species plus a naturally occurring hybrid between the two[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. In addition, another species of hybrid origin is recognized here (Aronia mitschurinii A.K.Skvortsov & Maitul.), though this is likely to be recognized as a bigeneric hybrid (Sorbaronia mitschurinii (Skvortsov & Maitul.) Sennikov) in the future[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Historically, species in the genus have been assigned variously to Adenorachis, Crataegus, Halmia, Malus, Mespilus, Pyrus, and Sorbus. More recently it has been included in Photinia, but a phylogenetic analysis by C. S. Campbell et al. (2007), using chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data, did not find a close relationship between Aronia arbutifolia and Photinia villosa.
Species in the genus hybridize with some Sorbus species (forming the intergeneric hybrid ×Sorbaronia C.K.Schneider), and the genus as a whole has sometimes been treated as a subgenus or section of Sorbus.

+ Synonyms

Adenorachis melanocarpa (Michx.) Nieuwl.

Aronia arbutifolia nigra (Willd.) F.Seym.

Aronia grandifolia (Lindl.) Spach

Aronia grandifolia (Lindl.) Sweet

Aronia nigra (Willd.) Koehne

Mespilus arbutifolia melanocarpa Michx.

Mespilus arbutifolia nigra (Willd.) Britton

Photinia melanocarpa (Michx.) K.R.Robertson & J.B.Phipps

Pyrus arbutifolia melanocarpa (Michx.) Hook.

Pyrus arbutifolia nigra Willd.

Pyrus grandifolia Lindl.

Pyrus melanocarpa (Michx.) Willd.

Sorbus grandifolia (Lindl.) Heynh.

Sorbus melanocarpa (Michx.) Heynh.

Common Name: Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa
Fruiting branch of a plant at UBC Botanical Garden, California
Photograph by: Wendy Cutler
Creative Commons License
Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa Aronia melanocarpa

General Information

Aronia melanocarpa is a deciduous shrub with an open, upright, spreading habit. The plant is somewhat rounded but leggy, growing 80 - 200cm tall. The plant suckers, forming in time a clump of 20 stems or more[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. Various cultivars have been developed, which are sometimes placed here or in Aronia mitschurinii. These have superior fruits and are often cultivated as a food crop. The plant is also grown as an ornamental and can be used as a hedge.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Eastern N. America - Ontario to Newfoundland, south to Arkansas, Alabama and Florida

Habitat

Swamps, bogs, wet thickets, margins of ponds and lakes, beaver ponds, woods, moist high-elevation forests, rock outcrops; at elevations to 2,000 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height2.50 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects, Apomictic
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants are hardy to about -25°c.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It prefers a moist peaty soil, but has a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. It dislikes shallow soils over chalk[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. This species is more tolerant of dry soils than other members of the genus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
There is at least one cultivar developed for its improved fruit. 'Nero' has fruits twice the size of the species with a vitamin C content of 15 - 30 mg (per 100g?). The fruit is borne in clusters of about 15, it is more flavourful and the yield is about twice that of wild forms[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. Other cultivars developed mainly for their ornamental value include 'Viking' with extra large berries and 'Aron' with numerous large berries[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
].
The sub-species Aronia melanocarpa elata Rehd., and Aronia melanocarpa grandifolia (Lindl.)Schneid., are more vigorous than the type species with larger flowers and fruits[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
This genus is closely related to Sorbus species and has been shown to hybridize with them[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - cooked. A good flavour but very astringent[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The fruit should be fully ripe before being eaten and is best after a frost or two[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. It makes a good jelly when sugar is added and is also dried and used for making pemmican[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The fruit is rich in pectin and can be added to fruits that are low in this substance when making jams etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. Pectin is also said to protect the body against radiation[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. The fruit is about 9mm in diameter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The fruits of Aronia species are potentially a very healthful and tasty addition to the diet. Although many wild forms are less than pleasant to eat, various forms with superior fruits have been selected (or developed through selective breeding). These forms are often available from plant nurseries, and some are grown commercially on a wide scale for use in juices, to make jams, wines and as a flavouring for other drinks[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. These cultivars are generally assigned to Aronia melanocarpa or Aronia mitschurinii, though it should be possible to select superior fruiting forms from any of the species[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

An infusion of the berries has been used in the treatment of colds[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant responds well to trimming and can be grown as a hedge[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

Other Uses

The fruit is a source of pectin[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
], a substance that is used to thicken jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots outdoors or in a cold frame[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. Pre-soak stored seed overnight and then cold stratify for 3 months at 2°c[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. The seed germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. 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, mid summer in a frame[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Division of suckers in the dormant season[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Very easy, they can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
Layering[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-11-25. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Aronia+melanocarpa>

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