Aronia arbutifolia is native to much of the eastern seaboard but since my options for states are dwindling (only 15 states left!!), I will go with Rhode Island. I have planted this beautiful shrub for many clients…it likes it on the wet side and provides beautiful color in the fall as well as pretty flowers in the spring and berries for the winter.
I am thinking of adding a few to my own landscape to blend my forest edge and also to use the berry juice for jam making. My grandmother used to make ‘chokecherry’ liqueur from the shrubs that grew in her front garden in the Colorado Mountains. Though, as I have be researching, I learned that chokeBerry (Aronia arbutifolia) and chokeCHerry (Prunus virginiana) are commonly confused and I now I’m not really sure what it was that she grew. Whatever it was the bears loved it and would frequently and famously visit her garden for a feast. We have bears here where I live (I saw one cross the road about a mile from my house 3 years ago) and I would love to see them more often…
1. Chokeberry, Red in bloom, 2. Aronia arbutifolia, 3. Chokeberry Tree