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Photinia melanocarpa

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: April, May, June

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, berries, colonizing, edible, fall interest, hedging plant, naturalizing, showy fruit, stream margin plant

Flowers of Photinia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa)
  • Flowers of Photinia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa)
  • Flowers of Photinia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa)
  • Fall foliage of Photinia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa)
  • Fruit of Photinia melanocarpa (Photinia melanocarpa)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Photinia melanocarpa

Also known as:

black chokeberry

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Aronia arbutifolia, Aronia melanocarpa, Aronia nigra, Pyrus arbutifolia, Pyrus melanocarpa, Sorbus melanocarpa

Description

Photinia melanocarpa is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that rarely exceeds a mature height of 6'. It has a rounded open form. The leaves are oval, finely serrated, dark green and glossy. They display intense fall colors in shades of orange, crimson, purple and bronze. Clusters of showy white flowers appear in spring, followed by equally showy clusters of edible berry-like fruit (pomes) that turn blue-black as they ripen by late summer. These do not persist on the plant and tend to shrivel up and drop by early to mid-fall.

Cultivation

Black chokeberry is an overall attractive shrub. It is easy to grow in acidic, rich, moist soil. It is somewhat tolerant of wet soils so long as they are well drained, and can be planted along streams or pond margins. It will tolerate light shade, but flower and fruit production will be at their best in full sun. Mature plants will have the tendency to produce suckers, and their branches will root if they come in contact with the soil. It does this in a non-aggressive, easy to control manner, producing dense colonies. A good choice for foundation plantings or hedgerows. It is recommended to regularly remove older stems to maintain a healthy, compact appearance, and abundant flower and fruit production. Flowering times are in spring but will vary from April to June depending on geographic location. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Easily propagated from freshly collected seeds in fall that have been thoroughly removed from any flesh. Stored seeds will require a couple of months of cold, moist stratification to break their dormancy. It is also easily propagated from softwood cuttings and by layering.

Additional Notes

Though the fruit are edible, they are very tart, hence the common name "chokeberry". They are highly valued in Europe where they are used in the commercial production of jams, jellies and fruit juices.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: IA

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae Rose family
Genus Photinia chokeberry
Species Photinia melanocarpa black chokeberry