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Aronia melanocarpa 'Morton' IROQUOIS BEAUTY

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Kemper Code:  C622

Common Name: black chokeberry
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 4 to 5 feet
Bloom Time: May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants have a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. Best fruit production usually occurs in full sun. Remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Black chokeberry is an open, upright, spreading, somewhat rounded but leggy, suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows 3-6’ tall and is noted for its clusters of 5-petaled white spring (May) flowers, glossy obovate dark green leaves (to 3” long), black autumn berries (blueberry size) and purple/red fall color. Although it is common in certain parts of its native range in eastern North America, it is somewhat rare in Missouri where it is only found in Stoddard County. ‘Morton’ is a somewhat more compact cultivar that typically grows to 2-3’ tall and to 4-5’ wide. It was selected by the Morton Arboretum (hence the cultivar name) and introduced by Chicagoland Grows. It is commonly sold under the trademarked name of IROQUOIS BEAUTY. Plants feature the same flowers, foliage, fruits and fall color as the species. The common name of chokeberry is in reference to the tart and bitter berries which are technically edible but so astringent as to cause choking in those who try. Fruits are sometimes used to make tasty jams and jellies.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots and twig/fruit blight.


Group or mass in shrub borders, small gardens or open woodland areas. Ability to withstand wet conditions makes it suitable for growing on the margins of ponds or streams. Excellent addition to naturalized areas where its suckering, colonial growth habit does not need to be restrained.

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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