Scientific name: Aronia melanocarpa
Black chokeberry is a deciduous, cold-hardy shrub useful in landscape plantings, showing white flowers in the spring and colorful red foliage and heavy, dark fruit in the fall. A member of the Rose family, black chokeberry is a deciduous, mound-shaped shrub which can grow to a height of 3 to 12 feet tall.
Black chokeberry is a deciduous, cold-hardy shrub useful in landscape plantings, showing white flowers in the spring and colorful red foliage and heavy, dark fruit in the fall.
A member of the Rose family, black chokeberry is a deciduous, mound-shaped shrub which can grow to a height of 3 to 12 feet tall.
The black chokeberry grows well in full sunlight, but is moderately tolerant of shade. The best growth and fruit production occurs on low moist but well-drained sites, in full sun. It is not drought-tolerant.
The fine-toothed leaves are medium green and hairless, with raised glands along the top of the midrib. As the seasons progress, the leaves turn a deep glossy green and then crimson-red in the fall.
In mid to late summer the fruit begins to form. As the pea-sized fruit ripens, it darkens to a purplish-black color. The fruit are pomes which will begin to drop from the plants shortly after ripening. The fruits are quite juicy, but will begin to shrivel up after ripening. The juice and seeds are deep purple in color. There are 1 to 5 small seeds per pome.
Reproduction is primarily by seed. The seeds are small, being slightly more than 1/16 inch long. There are about 276,000 seeds per pound, and about 100 pounds of fruit is needed to produce a pound of seed.
In spring, the bisexual, flowers form flat-topped clusters that are 2 to 2 ½ inches across. The five–petaled flowers are white, with pink anthers. The primary pollinators are small bees.
Plants are browsed by white-tailed deer and rabbits. The fruit are eaten by ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens.
More on Trees and Shrubs in Lewisboro
Lewisboro was once entirely forested except for patches of open field caused by fire and wetlands and ponds which were expanded by beaver dams. Although it is hard to believe, by 1800 most of Lewisboro’s forests had been cut down and replaced by farms. In 1820 so many trees had been cleared that there was no shade anywhere along the route from Boston to New York. But by the mid-1800’s farming here became uneconomical and as farms were abandoned, the forests began to re-grow. Today, 70% of New York is once again forest, what some call ‘the great environmental story of the United States’. These new forests provide us with beauty and recreation, clean air and water, flood control, erosion prevention, carbon sequestration, cooler temperatures and habitat for other plants, insects, birds and other wildlife.
 An Explosion of Green. B. Mckibben. Atlantic Monthly 275 (April 1995): 61-83.