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Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Black Chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa

The fruit is a source of pectin[183], a substance that is used to thicken jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories.

  • Medicinal Use

    An infusion of the berries has been used in the treatment of colds[257].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – cooked. A good flavour but very astringent[183]. The fruit should be fully ripe before being eaten and is best after a frost or two[K]. It makes a good jelly when sugar is added and is also dried and used for making pemmican[183]. The fruit is rich in pectin and can be added to fruits that are low in this substance when making jams etc[183]. Pectin is also said to protect the body against radiation[201]. The fruit is about 9mm in diameter[200].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in pots outdoors or in a cold frame[113]. Pre-soak stored seed overnight and then cold stratify for 3 months at 2¡c[113]. The seed germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15¡c[134]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[200]. Very easy, they can be planted straight out into their permanent positions. Layering[200].
Prefers a moist peaty soil in full sun or partial shade[200]. Succeeds in most soils but dislikes shallow chalk[200]. More tolerant of dry soils than other members of this genus[200]. Plants are hardy to about -25¡c. There is at least one cultivar developed for its improved fruit. ‘Nero’ has fruits twice the size of the species with a vitamin C content of 15 – 30 mg (per 100g?). The fruit is borne in clusters of about 15, it is more flavourful and the yield is about twice that of wild forms[183]. Other cultivars developed mainly for their ornamental value include ‘Viking’ with extra large berries and ‘Aron’ with numerous large berries[182]. The sub-species A. melanocarpa elata Rehd. and A. melanocarpa grandifolia (Lindl.)Schneid. are more vigorous than the type species with larger flowers and fruits[200]. This genus is closely related to Sorbus species[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Ontario, south to Florida and Michigan.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.