Common Name: Aronia, Chokeberry
Scientific Name: Aronia species
Family: Rosaceae (the Rose family)
- Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) – Large Shrub, Red Fruit
- Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) – Small to Medium-sized Shrub, Dark Purple-Black Fruit
- Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia) – natural hybrid of Red and Black Chokeberry, but is now likely its own species
The North American shrub known as Chokeberry had an extreme makeover once its nutritional profile was discovered. High in vitamin C and antioxidants, it is being touted as the healthiest fruit in the world. This new “superfood” was re-branded as Aronia (its scientific name), and it is now a common addition to juices and other health snacks. Typically a bit too astringent to eat raw, hence the original name, the fruit can easily be used in jams and jellies and even wines. It can also be made into syrup and tea. In the Forest Garden, it will attract beneficial insects, can withstand periods of drought, can be used as a windbreak and fruit-bearing hedge, and is strikingly beautiful most of the year.