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Red Chokeberry, Choke-pear, Dogberry
Aronia arbutifolia (Pyrus arbutifolia)


Red Chokeberry is a small, slender multistemmed shrub which prefers the wet woods and swamps of East Texas and ranges far and wide through Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida to New York, Nova Scotia, Michigan, Missouri and Minnesota. Its loosely ascending branches are open and rounded on top and become leggy with age, as most of the foliage is on the upper half of the plant. It spreads by underground offsets, forming a colony. The 1 1/2 inch corymbs or flower clusters are at the end of the stem and by fall provide its most ornamental asset: globular, long persistent and glossy brilliant red fruit. In autumn the medium green to dark green leaves turn red, crimson or reddish-purple with some yellow, and they remain for quite some time before falling. Ornamentally, red chokeberry might be best used in groups to promote the mass of red fruit in fall and winter and compensate for its ragged winter habit. This plant tolerates city smoke, although it is somewhat subject to blight and borer attacks. It has been in cultivation since 1700, and there are many named varieties and cultivars. Although very astringent, the fruit is valuable to a number of birds: bobwhite, quail, ruffled grouse, ringneck pheasant, and cedar waxwing.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: partial sun

Flower Color: white

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: pome, bright red

Height: 6 to 10 feet

Width: 3 to 5 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Additional Comments:

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