Aronia melanocarpa.(Black chokeberry)
Flowers of Aronia melanocarpa

Zone: 3 to 8

Soil: sand to loam

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: White

Bloom period: Mid to late spring

Height: Up to 8 feet

Moisture: medium

Attracts: A variety of bees and beetles.

Notes: Black chokeberry is a medium sized shrub that is native to the eastern half of North America including Ontario. Like many other shrubs, it is covered in white blooms for a few weeks in spring followed by a period of bland greenery with the appearance of distinctive dark pendulous berries at the end of the summer. Then afterwards, comes the beautiful red foliage in the fall. The white blossoms become more striking when you take a closer look because they contain many hot pink stamens.

The nectaries of this plant are rich. The flowers will be swamped with mining bees and there are also a number of interesting beetles that may show up as well. Quite a few birds and maybe the odd human will eat the berries if they can get to them before the chipmunks. Some wasps also eat the berries. The berries do ripen fairly quickly and will fall to the ground where they can be eaten and dispersed. Overall, this plant has a high wildlife value and will bring plenty of interest to anyone who wants to observe spring bees in action.

The plant likes moisture, but will tolerate some drought so it is quite adaptable in the garden as long as the soil is reasonably well drained. The plant may sucker, but I have not found this to be a huge problem. black chokeberry can be integrated into a perennial bed quite easily because it is an upright shrub and will not overwhelm surrounding forbs. It would go very well in a corner of a small garden where it can be surrounded by plants which flower when the shrub goes to greenery.

There is a similar species, Aronia arbutifolia, which it is taller and has red berries. It does not tolerate drought as well as black chokeberry. Black chokeberry is easy to grow and offers a range of aesthetic and wildlife benefits. If you have a smaller garden with no room for trees then consider this fantastic shrub as an alternative.

Aronia melanocarpa - Black chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa - reproductive parts
The stamens and stigma
Aronia melanocarpa with carpet beetle
Aronia melanocarpa with carpet beetles
Aronia melanocarpa berries
The berries are popular with small mammals
Aronia with a Conopid fly
Black Chokeberry with a conopid fly.

Aronia with mining bee

Mining bees are abundant on Black Chokeberry when in bloom.
Red leaves of Aronia Melanocarpa in the fall.
The flowers, the berries and finally the brilliant red leaves provide for a long season of interest.