Black chokeberry

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott; old Photinia melanocarpa (Michx.) K.R. Robertson & Phipps, Pyrus melanocarpa (Michx.) Willd.

Common name(s): black chokeberry, aronia, chokepear, barrenberry

LinksUSDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– generally flowers late May-June in ME

Twigs gray to brown with scattered lenticels often covered with dense white hairs. Older stems smooth and covered with whitish film.  Buds slender and sharp-pointed, terminal bud prominent with lateral buds pressed against the twig.  Bud scales shiny with two notches at the tip.  Alternate leaves elliptic, fine-toothed, dark green and shiny above paler below usually tapering to the base and abruptly pointed. Midvein with tiny dark glands along the upper side.  Flowers five parted, white to pink in a terminal, flat-topped cluster.  Fruit black and edible.

– may be confused with A. floribunda, which also occurs in wild blueberry fields; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.