If you are looking for a one-for-one replacement for burning bush, look no further! Actually, this is better than one-for-one, because it is NATIVE!
Black chokeberry is a woody shrub that can do well in just about any location short of deep shade. Able to handle wet feet as well as being drought tolerant, it is hard to think of a spot that it wouldn’t work.
The fall color on this will make you forget about burning bush, and the birds will certainly thank you for the deep purple berries (which are edible fresh but very astringent). These are low-maintenance shrubs and could be allowed to spread, or could easily be used in a more formal garden and kept in check by removing the suckers.
Fun fact: Aronia melanocarpa berries are one of the richest sources of plant antioxidants. Due to their astringency (thus the common name), the are tastiest in juices, jams, syrups, teas, and baked into muffins and pies. The berries supply: fiber, folate, manganese, iron, vitamins A, C, and E. For more information, click here.
ECO-TYPE: Some local eco-type, some grown from seed likely collected in New Hampshire. Started by New Hampshire State Forest Nursery.
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Photo 1 and 2 courtesy of Dan Wilder
Aronia melanocarpa (Black chokeberry)
SIZE: 1 gallon pot type: shrub sun needs: full sun, part sun/part shade water needs: average, moist height: 3-6' plant spacing: 5' distance bloom time: May bloom color: white
edible parts: fruit. They are astringent raw but delicious cooked or juiced. A great source of antioxidants salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur. deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)