Red Chokeberry

By: C. Colston Burrell
Red chokeberry is a

Red chokeberry, a shrub native to eastern and central North America, gets its common name from its bright red, but astringent, fruit. They are edible, but only with lots of sugar.

: The shrub has a distinctly upright growth pattern, and would be rather bare at the base if it weren't for the numerous suckers it bears to fill in the gaps. The narrow, dark leaves have a gray, felted underside. They are deciduous, turning a rich crimson or reddish purple in fall. Its white flowers are borne in small clusters. The bright red berries, however, are noticeable. Since birds eat them only when other berries are gone, they last in perfect shape well into the winter.


: This adaptable shrub is easy to grow and thrives even on poor soils. It will grow well in half-shade, but full sun encourages the best fruit production.

: The red chokeberry is often used in mass plantings, where its rather barren base is not as noticeable.

elated species: Aronia melanocarpa, black chokeberry, is a smaller, tighter shrub with large black berries.

Red chokeberry related varieties: Brillantissima is a selection with especially brilliant fall color.

Scientific name of red chokeberry: Aronia arbutifolia


Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Landscape Shrubs; find the right combination of shrubs to create the effect you want
  • Types of Shrubs; see tips for choosing the right shrub for your yard
  • Gardening; turn your garden into a lush retreat using these step-by-step instructions