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A native North American shrub belonging to the Rose family, Rosaceae, the Aronia has become nautralized in many parts of Europe.  They are often cultivated as ornamental plants, and for their fruit.  They make excellent landscaping and low hedge plants and have striking fall color, as well as edible fruit.

Aronia berries can be eaten raw, and can be used to make wine, jellies, jams, syrup, tea, ice cream, and extracts.  The fruit is extremely astringent, thus the common name Chokeberry.  Aronia berries also have many virtues, being very high in polyphenolic compounds. So high is the polyphenol content, in fact (measured higher than any other plant) that recent  research has been done to gauge the benefits in treating various cancers, chronic inflammation, high cholesterol, stomach ulers, and liver problems.

Aronias may be propagated by seed, suckers, division, or cuttings.  Fruits  may be gathered when ripe and the seeds extracted.  They may be planted immediately, or can be dried for later planting.  If dried, it will be necessary to cold stratify the seed (to break natural domancy) for 90 days prior to sowing, either by natural or artificial stratification. If stratified artificially, seed should be sown in pots, trays or a prepared outdoor bed (if outdoor temperatures do not fall below 60F).  Seedlings should be transplanted to larger containers or in their permanent outdoor locations when they reach about 6 inches in height.  (To stratify naturally, simply plant the seed in an outdoor bed in the fall for spring seedlings.)

To propagate by taking cuttings, cut 6-9 inches of half ripe wood in the spring and root in sand or a coarse medium.  Keep the medium moist and syringe the cuttings regularly to maintain humidity.  Keep the cuttings at about 70F until rooting takes place, then transplant to containers, nursery bed, or permanent location.

(Plant heights are given at maturity)

  Black Chokeberry - Aronia melanocarpa; Shrub with leathery leaves. A profusion of white blooms in the spring followed by berries rich in pectin and sour to taste. Used to make jellies and jams and pemmican (a buffalo jerky dish). Autumn foilage is orange, burgundy, or purple depending on soil type. Height: 3 - 5 feet. Hardy to -40F (-40C)
#1641   Packet   $6.50   Approximately 50 seeds
#B4z-1641   Bulk seed 4 oz.   $68.50
#B1-1641   Bulk seed 1 lb.   $129.60

  McKenzie - Aronia melanocarpa 'McKenzie' ; Larger variety developed for use in wildlife planting and conservation use.  White blooms, Purple/Black fruits.    Height 6 - 12 feet. Hardy to -40F (-40C)
#P10-9483   Ten Plants for   $100.00  
#P25-9483   Twenty-five Plants for   $165.55

  Nero - Aronia melanocarpa 'Nero' ; Excellent landscaping shrub with tiny white blooms and deep green leaves and edible fruit. Height: 3 - 5 feet. Hardy to -40F (-40C)
#P10-9524   Ten Plants for   $100.00
#P25-9524   Twenty-five Plants for   $165.55

  Viking - Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking' ; Vigorous variety from Scandinavia. Height: 5 - 6 feet. Hardy to -40F (-40C)
#P10-9525   Ten Plants for   $100.00
#P25-9525   Twenty-five Plants for   $165.55

  Woodland - Aronia melanocarpa 'Woodland' ; Variety developed for fruit production. Berries are higher in antioxidants and polyphenols than any other plant measured.  Pretty landscaping shrub with cluster of white blooms and deep green glossy leaves.  Height: 3 - 5 feet. Hardy to -40F (-40C)
#P10-458   Ten Plants for   $50.50
#P25-458   Twenty-five Plants for   $95.95


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