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Native Plants Recommendations: Red Chokeberry

Most of you seem to be wanting info on native shrubs, so here we go!

Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutafolia) is native to much of the eastern and southern US and Canada. They grow in full sun to part shade in a wide range of soil conditions, reaching 6-10' tall and 3-6' wide. The folliage turns bright red in fall, and would make a great replacement plant for a burning bush. Clusters of white to light pink flowers appear in April. It produces bright red berries in the fall which are edible, but recommended only for jams - not ever eaten fresh (hence the name chokecherry!). However, it's best to leave the berries for supporting birds during their fall migration and during the winter.

A common cultivar you will find at the garden center is "Brillantissima" which grows a bit smaller and produces more fruit. I planted three of these in my landscape last year and can't wait for them to fill in!

Photo: @grace.and.creatures (Grace Blaylock)

Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden, USDA

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