Friday, March 4, 2011

Where is aronia native?

     The two species that are generally recognized in the genus Aronia are A. melanocarpa, black chokeberry, and A. arbutifolia, red chokeberry.  Aronia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa) is native to the northeastern one-quarter of the United States.  Its native range extends north into Canada and south into the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains
in north Georgia. 

Native range of Aronia melanocarpa

       Red chokeberry, A. arbutifolia, is native to the southeastern one-quarter of the United States.  It ranges from eastern Texas to northern Florida and continues up the eastern seaboard. 

     In the Appalachian Mountains and the Northeast there is considerable overlap of the red and black chokeberry range.  Where the native range of these two species overlaps, a third species is sometimes recognized.  Purple chokeberry, A. prunifolia, is intermediate between the other two species.       A. melanocarpa is on state endangered species lists in Missouri and Iowa.  It is only reported in Saline County in central Arkansas, in Stoddard County in southeast Missouri, and in Winneshiek County in extreme northeastern Iowa (as indicated by notes written on specimen labels in the Ada Hayden Herbarium at Iowa State University).

       It is locally abundant in most states where it occurs.  The plants often spread by rhizomes or suckers from the crown to form small to medium sized colonies in a non-aggressive manner.  It grows in full sun and along woodland edges but does not persist for long in full shade.  It was well known to Native Americans and early settlers. 

For more information about the native range of Aronia melanocarpa refer to:
 Hardin, James W.  1973.  The enigmatic chokeberries (Aronia, Rosaceae).  Bulletin of the Botanical Club 100(3): 178-184.
 USDA-NRCS Plants Profile:

To learn more about aronia, visit our website Everhart Horticulture Consulting.

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