Like the name suggests, the chokeberry is an astringent fruit with a strong flavor. Processed with apple, plum or blueberry and a little sugar, the flavor mellows like a tart blueberry and adds a full bodied anthocyanin punch. The dark purple juice is used in sports drinks under the name Aronia.
The purple fruit is high in minerals, iron, anthocyanins. Said to improve circulation and increase mental alertness. Many of our customers swear by the health benefits of this plant Despite the rather acrid raw flavor of the juice if not sweetened, it mixes well in smoothies mellowing the astrigency. We use the recipe for elderberry and make jam from this fruit.
This plant is easy to cultivate and produces clusters of dark purple astringent fruit. Nero is a German selection and is extremely productive with large fruit twice that of what you find in the wild. Nero is the most productive of all selections and can be grown from seed. Self fruitful, this plant can grow in light shade and still fruit even in dry soil types.
|Genus & Species||Aronia melanocarpa|
|Seed Source||Nero, Selected in Germany. Said to be a hybrid type true to seed.|
|Width (ft)||5-12 As wide as high or more depending on the growing conditions.|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile.|
|Soil||Does best in moist acidic soil but tolerates sandy dry soils and is fruitful is good in all soil types except alkaline soils.|
|Climate||Zone 3 to Zone 8|
|Ease of Cultivation||Fruits quickly from seedling-2-3 years when plants reach 2-3 ft. tall and wide. Fruits are produced in great abundance and easy to pick. Like elderberry, best cooked and sweetened which makes it possible to enjoy it otherwise almost impossible to eat fresh. The cultivation of this strain is probably the best as the fruits are nearly twice the size of wild types. Easy to grow and process for home use.|