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Aronia arbutifolia

Aronia arbutifolia (L.) Pers.

Photinia pyrifolia (Lam.) K.R. Robertson & Phipps

Aronia arbutifolia (L.) Pers. var. brilliantissima hort.

Aronia arbutifolia (L.) Pers. var. glabra Elliot

Pyrus arbutifolia (L.) L. f.

Pyrus arbutifolia (L.) L. f. var. glabra Cronquist

Sorbus arbutifolia (L.) Heynh.

Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyRosaceaeIncludes apples, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, almonds, roses, meadowsweets, photinias, firethorns, rowans, and hawthorns; many others
GenusAroniaFrom the Greek aria, which is the specific epithet of a mountain ash (Sorbus aria) which has similar fruit
SpeciesarbutifoliaHaving leaves like Arbutus unedo, the Spanish madrone

About plant names...

Wild chokeberries like the red chokeberry are native to eastern North America.

Identification: These reach up to 8' (2.4 m) in height, with a spread of about 4' (1.2 m). They are composed of many thin, flexible stems and assume a tall, thin overall shape. Leaves are alternate, obovate, 1½-3½" (3.8-8.9 cm) × ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm), shiny on top, finely hairy and grayish green below, with fine serrations. In the fall, leaves are reddish purple or bright red. Blooms are white, sometimes pinkish, with five petals, about ¼" (6.3 mm) around, and fragrant. Berries are bright red and fairly hard, about ⅜" (9.5 mm), like tiny apples. Berries are about ¼" (6.3 mm) around, in clusters, and last well into winter. Don’t confuse chokeberries and chokecherries.

 

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

Parking lot · 9/25/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/3/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

10/18/2008 · Kimball’s Ice Cream, Westford, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (29 × 19 cm) ID is uncertain

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Aronia arbutifolia

Prunus virginiana
Common Name

Red Chokeberry

Common Chokecherry
Plant Typically 6-15' (1.8-4.6 m) high A large shrub or small tree up to 18' (5.5 m) high
Flowers Small pale pink flowers, about ½" (1.3 cm), with five petals each, in bunches of 10-25 Bunches (“racemes”) of 15-30 white flowers, each about ½" (1.3 cm) in size
Leaves Alternate, red in autumn, covered with fine soft hairs on the underside Fine serrations, dark above and pale green underneath
Fruit Red, about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter; very sour Bright red to dark red or black, ¼-⅝" (6.3-15 mm) in diameter, extremely sour
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 4-9

Habitats Wet woods, swamps Moist woods; stream banks; prairie hillsides; fence rows; rocky bluffs; roadsides
Type Wild Wild

 

Edibility: The berries are not poisonous, but they are so tart that they cause choking. Cooked and sweetened, they find their way into jams, syrups, tea, and wine. Native North Americans used these fruits in pemmican.

Online References:

Aronia arbutifolia on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Aronia arbutifolia on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Aronia arbutifolia at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Aronia arbutifolia at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Aronia arbutifolia on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/3/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

10/18/2008 · Kimball’s Ice Cream, Westford, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Nov 2013.

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Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

10/4/2008
≈ 13 × 9" (33 × 22 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/3/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

9/14/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm) ID is uncertain

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry, Chokeberry)

Parking lot · 9/25/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 4-9:

About this map...