Aronia arbutifolia - Red Chokeberry
Red chokecherry is a multi-stemmed shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with four-season interest. In spring, flat-topped clusters of white, five-petaled flowers with red anthers are borne in profusion. They give way to dark green, glossy leaves that consistently turn a rich, orange-red in fall. Also appearing in fall are the bright red, pear-shaped, berries. These remain until December or January and along with the reddish-brown, exfoliating bark add color to the winter landscape.A native shrub, this species forms sizable colonies and is excellent for naturalistic landscaping. A closely related, black-fruited species, Black Chokeberry (P. melanocarpa), has leaves that are hairless beneath; it is found from Ontario east to Newfoundland and south to Georgia and Arkansas. Growing in much the same range, Purple Chokeberry (P. floribunda), which appears to be derived by hybridization of Red and Black Chokeberry, has purple fruit. Although chokeberry fruits persist through much of the winter, they appear to be of little importance to wildlife; they are occasionally eaten by game birds and songbirds and reportedly by bears. Chokeberry species are sometimes placed in the genus Aronia.