Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

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A member of the Rose family, black chokeberry is a deciduous shrub which can grow to a height of 3 to 12 feet tall. The fine-toothed leaves are medium green and hairless, with raised glands along the top of the midrib. In spring, the bisexual flowers form clusters that are 2 to 2 ½ inches across. The five petals are white, with pink anthers. The primary pollinators are small bees. As the seasons progress, the leaves turn a deep glossy green. In mid to late summer the fruit begins to form. As the pea-sized fruit ripens, it darkens to a purplish-black color. The fruit are pomes which will begin to drop from the plants shortly after ripening. The fruits are quite juicy, but will begin to shrivel up after ripening. The juice and seeds are deep purple in color. There are 1 to 5 small seeds per pome.

Michael Knudson