Aronia × prunifolia
Common Name: purple-fruited chokeberry 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 9.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy, Edible

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread. Plants reportedly come true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aronia x prunifolia is a hybrid deciduous shrub that is called purple chokeberry (or purple-fruited chokeberry) in recognition of its purple berries. It is considered to be a natural hybrid between Aronia melanocarpa and Aronia arbutifolia. It typically grows slowly to 8-12’ tall. It tends to sucker somewhat like amelanchiers (serviceberries). Clusters (corymbs) of 5-petaled, white (sometimes tinged pink) flowers (1/2” across) appear in spring. Flowers are followed by abundant purple fruits (1/3” diameter) which appear in dense clusters along the branches. Fruits ripen in late summer and persist throughout fall and well into winter. Obovate to elliptic, dark green leaves (to 3” long) are grayish-green and hairy beneath. Foliage turns wine red in autumn. This hybrid was originally named Aronia prunifolia with a range of Newfoundland to Ontario south to Virginia and Indiana.

Genus name comes from the Greek word aria the name for a species of Sorbus of which the fruits resemble chokeberry.

Specific epithet means with foliage resembling that of the genus Prunus.

Common name of chokeberry is in reference to the tart and bitter berries which are technically edible but so astringent as to cause choking in those who try.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots and twig/fruit blight.

Garden Uses

Group or mass in shrub borders or woodland areas. Ability to withstand wet conditions makes it suitable for growing on the margins of ponds or streams. Also effective in naturalized areas where its suckering, colonial growth habit does not need to be restrained.