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Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’

 

Red Chokeberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
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
Cultivar‘Brilliantissima’

About plant names...

This is a red chokeberry cultivar. Wild chokeberries are native to eastern North America.

Edibility: The berries are not poisonous, but they are so tart that they cause choking. Wild red chokeberry can be cooked and sweetened, but I couldn’t find any edibility information for this cultivar.

Identification: These reach up to 8' (2.4 m) in height, with a spread of about 4' (1.2 m). Blooms are white and fragrant. Berries are bright red and fairly hard, about ⅜" (9.5 mm), like tiny apples. In the fall, the foliage turns bright or deep ruby red. Don’t confuse chokeberries and chokecherries:

 

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

4/24/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½" (9.4 × 6.3 cm)

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

10/22/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

 
Aronia arbutifolia

Prunus virginiana
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Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’
Common Name

Red Chokeberry

Common Chokecherry

Red Chokeberry
Plant Typically 6-15' (1.8-4.6 m) high A large shrub or small tree up to 18' (5.5 m) high 6-15' (1.8-4.6 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 Leaves turn deep ruby red in fall.
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 Red, about ¼-⅜" (6.3-9.5 mm) in diameter, very sour
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 4-9

USDA Zones: 4-9
Habitats Wet woods, swamps Moist woods; stream banks; prairie hillsides; fence rows; rocky bluffs; roadsides  
Type Wild Wild Cultivar

 

Online References:

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ on pnwplants.wsu.edu

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

5/11/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

10/22/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

8/4/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Nov 2013.

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Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

10/22/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

10/22/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Range: Zones 4-9:

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