Dark Light
Black Chokecherry
Aronia melanocarpa

Here’s another plant with a very close relative – there’s a black and a red chokecherry. The way to tell them apart is based on their fruit color, and I have yet to catch the fruit at the right time. The other way you can tell them apart is that the under surface of the leaves on a black chokecherry are mostly smooth, whereas they are densely hairy on a red chokecherry. I think I have both here, and will have to go back and check next spring and summer (I’m writing this post late-fall).

I don’t think the fruits on this tree are very tasty, given the common name. Even birds typically ignore these fruits until there isn’t much else available in the winter.

Size: Small shrub
Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Habitat: Common in mountains, rare in piedmont. Heath balds, rocky outcrops, mountain bogs, and forest openings, usually at high elevations. Love sun but can tolerate shade.
Identifiers: Multi-stemmed shrub with alternate, elliptical leaves and finely toothed margins. In May and June, small white to light pink flowers appear. Fruit is about the size of a blueberry, dark purple-black in August-September.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
Related Posts
pink mountain laurel flowers

Mountain Laurel

Thickets of this stuff is sometimes referred to as "Laurel Hell" because the weaving, spreading branches are almost impossible to walk through.
Dogwood Flower with leaves

Flowering Dogwood

My family told me they are called dogwoods because their flowers smell like wet dogs. In any case they are still one of my favorite Virginia trees!