Content Detail

Black chokeberry is a dependable small to medium sized shrub with an upright, mounded habit. Small clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by glossy black fruit. The dark green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.

This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Wet soil
  • Tolerances Occasional drought, Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest early winter, mid spring, late spring, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Mounded, Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Moderate, Slow

Native geographic location and habitat: 

This shrub is native to the northeastern United States and the upper Midwest. C-Value: 6

Attracts birds & butterflies: 

The fruit is eaten by a number of bird species, usually in mid to late winter.

Bark color and texture: 

The bark is brown and relatively smooth, with obvious lenticels.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

The alternate, simple leaves are 1 to 3 inches long. The dark green foliage turns a deep mahogany-red in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Small clusters of white flowers appear in mid-spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

This shrub has edible, purplish-black berry-like fruit (pomes).

Plant care: 

This 3 to 8 feet high and 3 to 6 feet wide shrub is good for low, wet locations. It performs best in full sun to part shade. Plant it toward the back of the border because the plants tend to sucker and be a bit leggy at the bottom. The plant will benefit from a layer of mulch to conserve moisture. Prune this shrub after flowering in the spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

This plant has no serious disease or insect problems. Prune out the unwanted suckers to control its size.

This plant is a cultivar of a species that is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. Cultivars are plants produced in cultivation by selective breeding or via vegetative propagation from wild plants identified to have desirable traits.

Iroquois Beauty™  (Aronia melanocarpa ‘Morton’):

Iroquois Beauty™ was selected at The Morton Arboretum and introduced by the Chicagoland Grows® Introduction Program. It is 2 to 3 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide.


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