Dainty white flowers dot this shrub's foliage in late spring, followed by astringent deep purple berries in summer and red fall foliage. The purple chokeberry is a thicket-forming upright deciduous shrub from the eastern United States, regarded as a naturally-occurring hybrid between the red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa).
The foliage is green, becoming deep green with a hint of gray because of the sparse hairs on the undersides of its rounded oval leaves. In mid- or late spring, many small five-petaled flowers occur in clusters along the branches, attracting bees for pollination. By mid- to late summer, a dense crop of small deep purple berries ripen and are edible but astringent, causing most people to "choke" from the taste. These berries often persist into midwinter, and are a food source for birds. In autumn, the foliage turns to shades of brilliant orange-red to a rich royal burgundy-red.
Grow purple chokeberry in full sun to partial shade, realizing flowering and fruiting is most abundant in full sun. Adaptable to many soils, it excels in moist, acidic soils that are rich in humus, but tolerates any well-draining or seasonally soggy fertile location. To prevent a thicket from forming, suckers (sprouts arising from the spreading roots) should be pruned away on a regular schedule. Use chokeberry as an informal hedge or windbreak, or as a mixed border specimen if kept pruned to a single plant. It is best planted in a location where it can form a small thicket such as the edge of a woodland or along the shores of a pond. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Aronia
Species - Prunifolia
Common name - Purple Chokeberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 8
Height - 8'-12' / 2.40 - 3.70 m
Spread - 6'-9' / 1.80 - 2.70 m
Plant type - Large Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Bog Garden, Edible, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Bloom season - Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
Seeds have an internal dormancy that can be overcome by a moist, chilling period. This treatment is called stratification. Here are the steps to stratify the seeds:
1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
2. Place the seeds in a moist material such as milled sphagnum peat, sterile soil or vermiculite.
3. Refrigerate the seeds for 3 months at +1-+4C (33-41F).
4. After the seeds are stratified, plant them 2 mm (1/16") deep in a container filled with a moist, well-drained germination medium. Cover with glass or plastic and keep the container moist, but not soggy. Seeds should germinate in 3 to 4 weeks at +21-+24C (70-75F) bottomheat. As soon as the seeds germinate, place them under bright lights or move them to a greenhouse or cold frame.
Another method is to plant seeds outdoors in well prepared beds in October or before the winter. If it does not rain, then water the seedbeds before the ground freezes. The seeds will naturally receive cold treatment during the winter. The seeds should start to germinate when the seedbed warms up in the spring.
When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring.
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