Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa / Photinia melanocarpa), sometimes called black chokeberry, is a deciduous shrub native to eastern North America, used by landscapers primarily for its clusters of creamy white flowers in late spring, and colorful flame-colored autumn foliage contrasting with dark berries. The thick bushes grow to 6 to 8 feet in height, and are sometimes used as a windbreak in border plantings. Aronia requires a damp, acid soil with sufficient rain during the growing season. The pea-sized, violet-black berries are harvested in autumn. Berries have a strong, stable and natural color, with a dry and sour strong flavor. For those interested in a dual-purpose plant for edible landscaping, the recent introduction “Autumn Magic” from the University of British Columbia was selected for large fruit size, superior fall color and overall form. Full Article
While elderberry from Austria, acai from the Amazon, maqui from Patagonia and sea-buckthorn berry from Northern Asia have all made headlines as super berries packed with nutrition, a lesser known North American berry is gaining ground, poised to hit the nutritional spotlight as a world class super berry: Aronia.
Commonly found wild in woodlands and swamps, aronia is also known as chokeberry, due to its astringent flavor. The berries come naturally in three colors – red, purple and black-purple. Aronia melanocarpa, the black-purple species, has a much deeper purple color than blueberries, which are also North American natives. The berry is now cultivated, and that cultivation is expanding in anticipation of the berry’s impending popularity. Full Article