Aronia arbutifolia [Photinia pyrifolia] #3 (Red Chokeberry)August 25, 2020
Asclepias sullivantii #1 (Sullivant’s Milkweed)August 25, 2020
Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’ #3 (Black Chokeberry)
‘Viking’ Black Chokeberry is a cultivated variety of an Ohio native, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that typically grows to heights of 6′. It has a similar spread due to its suckering growth habit. Young plants commonly have a vase-shaped appearance that rounds out as they get more mature and thicken up from the base. The suckers can be pruned out as needed to control the spread and overall shape and size. This is a great shrub for large rain garden plantings, shrub borders or for planting around pond margins. The foliage of ‘Viking’ is consistently a glossy, deep green until it turns brilliantly red in fall. This cultivar was developed in Europe as an orchard plant, with larger berries and heavier yields.
The cheerful white flowers bloom in May with a sweet honey fragrance. Many pollinators are attracted to the flowers, particularly mason bees and Andrenid bees. Large, dark berries mature in fall. They are edible as well as one of the highest plant sources of anthocyanins, but so astringent that they earned the common name of Chokeberry. They can be made into juice, jelly, syrup, liqueur, and much more. Many birds will also use the berries as late-winter forage.
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael A. Dirr
Missouri Botanical Garden