Black chokeberry is a North American native shrub that is very useful to both wildlife and as a healthy food for humans. The berries are a favorite of grouse, turkeys and other birds. Though quite tart, when sweetened the fruit is very tasty and good for you, being a strong antioxidant. Many medicinal benefits are claimed and practiced from using the extracts. They have extremely high antioxidative activity, are used as an anti- inflammatory, and are super high in vitamins ( A, C, D, B9, B2 and vitamin E) and beta-carotene. Growing from 3 to 10 feet tall, depending on the cultivar, chokeberry is an easy keeper being not fussy about moist or dry soils, PH, and light conditions from full sun to part shade. It can develop into small colonies that are simple to manage with minimal pruning and thinning if so desired. Along with the fruit is an amazing display of orange and red foliage in the fall. Several forms are available to suit the size of your garden or landscape.
We tincture the berries and keep them on the pantry shelf for use through the winter.
Here is a more thorough list of their incredible health benefits:
Alleged Health Benefits:
Cancer (brain, lung, colon, liver)
Cardiovascular ailments: lowers blood pressure, lowers bad and improves good cholesterol, promotes heart and arterial health, improves elasticity of blood vessels and prevents their clogging, reduces discomfort due to varicose veins and inflammation (flavonoids, proanthocyanidin, biophenols, vitamin P)
Accelerates recovery from heart/brain stroke (anthocyanins, phenols, vitamin P).
Stops arteriosclerosis, prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s, helps with headaches and migraines through improved circulation (anthocyanin, vitamin P)
Eyes: cures macular degeneration, prevents cataract, protects from UV radiation, improves vision (anthocyanin, vitamin P, beta-Carotene).
Diabetes: regulates hemoglobin and blood sugar level, regulates pancreas, and cures diabetes (sorbitol, anthocyanin)
Liver and gallbladder: improves the function of both organs, regenerates liver even in major diseases and cleanses it from fatty deposits; gallstones, inflammation, jaundice (phenols, flavonoids)
Regulates thyroid and other hormones.
Gastrointestinal: reduces inflammation, pain, cramping, stomach ulcers (anthocyanins) and stops diarrhea.
Urinary tract infections(5-10 times more effective than cranberry),some prostate problems
Increases immune function, so helps with colds and influenza (flu) (biophenols and vitamin C)
Cleansing: Aronia binds heavy metals and radioactive materials and helps their excretions (beneficial in post-radiation therapy or accidental exposure to radiation).
Disinfects wounds and dramatically accelerates healing time (helpful post-operatively) (biophenols, vitamins P, C and E).
Skin: Improves elasticity, reduced wrinkles, stretch marks, sun spots, and broken capillaries; freshens skin and slows down the aging process (vitamin E, beta-Carotene, flavonoids)
Aging: slows down aging (antioxidative function)
I use this awesome plant a lot in my client’s yards. It stands up to their over watering 😝, and is a great 4 season plant.
yes, everything you say..spot on! And still under used in the landscape. growing for wildlife and if gardeners would save some of the fruit for tea…..a most beneficial plant! Thank you for comment!
How beautiful! I would love to add this to my garden in the spring. Will you have abundant supply or should I provide my credit card for you to hold one for me? Enjoy your posts, Elizabeth (Stover)
yes, we will have plenty of Aronia in the spring. If you’d like to send a reminder ( if still interested) , i’ll set what you’d like aside. I’ll include directions for tincturing the berries if you are interested in using them…unless the birds get to them first! Thank you for following the blog! Denise
Can you ship these to your favorite blogging neighbor in NH or are they pick up only? I’d sure like to hear more about how you ‘tincture’ them.
If I travel your way, I’ll even deliver them to your doorstep. We don’t ever ship plants and these would be on the too large size, but I do think everyone should have a screen of Aronia for the wildlife and such. I’ll post my directions for tincturing someday soon…good idea!!
Maybe I could combine a pickup with a class in April maybe???
Very good idea. we are working on the class schedule this week. First one, most likely our talk/slide presentation/garden walk with regards to early woodland bloomers and ephemeral. I’ll be sure to let you know, Judy!!
This plant looks familiar but not the name. What a power house of nutrition they are, and a blessing for the birds too. Very interesting Denise. I’ll have to see if they’ve made their way to Europe…
A must have for the edible landscape, and as you have read, truly, one of the most beneficial medicines for home remedies. There is cultivar that was bred in Europe called ‘Viking’, you could check that out to see if it is available in Ireland. A swath of Aronia, an easy grower, is certainly an added benefit for both humans and wildlife.Do you make many tinctures or salves? I wish you lived next door, we’d be at this stuff all the time! I am certain there would be a well trodden path between your house and mine…..sharing recipes, ingredients, tools,seeds, and knowledge ( your fabulous fermenting knowledge!!). by the way, did you go to Urban Fermentory while you were in Portland? Hope you find some Black Chokeberry! You could ferment this too!! How good would that be!
Oh, if only! I could be your apprentice. There are so many things I would like to learn from you. I’ve never been to Urban Fermentory. Have you? I think they opened around the time that Johnny and I moved south to be closer to his work, when I started being a stay at home mum. Thanks for all the plant advice. I agree, the Chokeberry would be a great ferment, despite it’s name. 😀
I think it would be an equal sharing of experience and know-how! I have been to Urban Fermentory, they make a really yummy blueberry ginger kombucha. Very cold here in Maine , as Ireland welcomes it’s official spring. A ways to go yet!
We have six of these lining our driveway and I would love to hear more about how to use the berries–they are really tart!
I may have a place for some! When do you open in the spring?
As long as winter goes out like a lamb and not a lion, we open just about the first of May. We’ll keep you posted and would lobe to have you visit!!
I definitely will be by this spring.
Just an excellent post. I was cautioned as a child not to eat them, but watching so many of the critters do just that, with no bad outcomes, of course I tried them, and developed quite a taste for the jolting tartness.
Wonderful post. Thank you. 🐞
Critters often no what’s good or bad for them…smart little creatures that they are!! We love Aronia and find many ways to preserve their goodness!
I heard about this berry for the first time. Your information is really great, thank you!
it’s a great addition to the landscape…the wildlife appreciate it and so do we!
Thank you, Cecilia! Hope you give Black Chokeberry a try in your landscape…its a very nice tree!
Many years ago, a friend and I spent a day making black chokeberry jelly and, as I recall, it was quite good. Never knew about all the health benefits. Almost everything I’ve planted in this yard so far has berries for the birds and fall color for me. This shrub certainly fits the bill.
Thanks for sharing about this versatile native shrub. Montville is in southern Maine right, maybe Zone 5? Is this plant tough enough for Zone 3?
Actually you were kind enough to provide the info and Latin name so I did a search and this tough customer thrives all the way up to Newfoundland! But it is an eastern native so I’ll research to see how it does in these dry brutal prairies and foothills in the mid-west. Cheers!
Yes, it is hardy and very adaptable ( once established). i’d say give it a try and see how it fairs. the trick may be in finding someone in your area that grows them . The fruits are an amazing medicinal and a great benifit to wildlife as well.
Montville is mid coast, zone 4-5 depending on site factors. It is hardy to zone 3 , as well…all through Canada.