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”)


-Rosaceae family

– 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 are slender and sharp-pointed

  • terminal bud is prominent with lateral buds pressed against the twig
  • Bud scales are shiny with two notches at the tip

-Leaves are:

  • Alternate, 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.