Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Rosales>Rosaceae>Aronia prunifolia (Marshall) Rehder

Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia)

A fairly rare upright, open shrub of the Mountain and Piedmont regions of North Carolina, with cherry-like leaves, white flower clusters in spring and dark purple pomes (fruits) in fall and winter. This species is generally thought to have arisen as a hybrid between Black Chokeberry (A. melanocarpa) and Red Chokeberry (A. arbutifolia), though it occurs well outside the range of the former.

Purple Chokeberry differs from Red Chokeberry in the amount of pubescence on the underside of the leaves (sparsely pubescent for Purple, densely for Red), as well as fruit color (purple vs. red). Purple Chokeberry differs from Black Chokeberry in having pubescence on the branches of inflorescence (Black Chokeberry is glabrous) and some pubescence on the undersides of the leaves (Black Chokeberry is glabrous) as well as fruit color (purple vs. black).

Macon Co., NC 5/14/06.

Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia)

Aronia taxonomy is confusing -- a few of the other names used for this species include Aronia atropurpurea, Photinia floribunda, and Sorbus arbutifolia var. atropurpurea.

Macon Co., NC 5/14/06.

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Revised 6/9/06 cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text 2006 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated.