Philos. Bot. 1: 140, 155. 1789.

Common names: Chokeberry
Etymology: Greek Aria, name for whitebeam (formerly a species of Sorbus), alluding to resemblance to chokeberry fruit
Synonyms: Adenorachis (de Candolle) Nieuwland Pyrus sect. Adenorachis de Candolle Sorbus sect. Aronia (Medikus) C. K. Schneider
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 9. Treatment on page 445. Mentioned on page 429, 433, 447, 489.
FNA9 P38 Sorbus americana.jpegSorbus americana
Sorbus decora
Aronia melanocarpa
Marjorie C. Leggitt
Marjorie C. Leggitt
Marjorie C. Leggitt

Shrubs, 8–20 dm; suckering. Stems 1–20+, erect; bark gray or brown, smooth; short-shoots absent; unarmed; appressed-pilose, glabrous, or glabrescent. Leaves deciduous, cauline, simple; stipules persistent, adnate to petiole, narrowly triangular, margins glandular; petiole present; blade elliptic to obovate, 2.5–7.5 (–18) cm, membranous, margins flat, glandular serrulate-dentate, venation pinnate, surfaces glabrous or glabrescent to pilose (or villous). Inflorescences lateral and apparently terminal, 5–12 (–20) -flowered, corymbose, appressed pilose; bracts reduced to glands; bracteoles reduced to glands. Pedicels present. Flowers: perianth and androecium epigynous, 12–20 mm diam.; hypanthium campanulate, 1–2 mm, glabrous or villous; sepals 5, erect, triangular; petals 5, white to pale-pink, elliptic to orbiculate, base clawed; stamens 16–22, equal to petals; carpels 5, connate proximally, adnate to hypanthium, hairy, styles terminal, distinct; ovules 2. Fruits pomes, red or black, obovoid or subglobose, 6–9 (–11) mm, glabrous or pilose; hypanthium persistent; sepals persistent, ± appressed; carpels cartilaginous; styles and often filaments persistent. Seeds 1–8 per pome, 2–3 mm. x = 17.


e North America


Species 2 (2 in the flora).

Aronia has been included in Photinia (K. R. Robertson et al. 1991) on morphologic evidence, but C. Kalkman (2004) doubted this conclusion; a phylogenetic analysis by C. S. Campbell et al. (2007), using chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data, did not find a close relationship between A. arbutifolia and P. villosa. Historically, species of Aronia have been assigned variously to Adenorachis, Crataegus, Halmia M. Roemer, Malus, Mespilus, Pyrus, and Sorbus. Aronia latifolia Riddell from Kentucky appears to be a form of Amelanchier canadensis. Aronia is cultivated for food (juice, wine, and jam, and as a soft drink flavoring) and as an ornamental for its leaf color, for example, in the former Soviet Union (as A. mitschurinii A. K. Skvortsov & Maitulina), Sweden (H. A. Persson Hovmalm et al. 2004), and in North America.

Experiments by J. W. Hardin (1973) suggested that species of Aronia are variously outbreeding, self-compatible, or apomictic. They can also hybridize with Sorbus, forming the intergeneric hybrid ×Sorbaronia C. K. Schneider (see 53. Sorbus). The primary pollinators are thought to be small bees.

Varieties have been described for each species, but they are not recognized here as they appear to represent merely extremes of variation.

Aronia ×prunifolia (Marshall) Rehder [Mespilus prunifolia Marshall; Adenorachis atropurpurea (Britton) Nieuwland; Aronia atropurpurea Britton; A. floribunda (Lindley) Sweet; Photinia floribunda (Lindley) K. R. Robertson & J. B. Phipps; Pyrus floribunda Lindley], the purple chokeberry, is intermediate between the two species in indumentum but has purple pomes. It is found in St. Pierre and Miquelon, eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec), and the eastern United States (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).

J. W. Hardin (1973) concluded that the two species are fairly distinct but that Aronia ×prunifolia tends to obscure the boundary between them, making meaningful identification difficult. The fact that the putative hybrid tends to make apparently normal fruit could be the result of apomixis. It could also explain why it has been able to spread beyond the range limits of at least one of its putative parents.

Selected References



1 Leaves shiny adaxially, glabrous or glabrescent; hypanthia glabrous; pomes black. Aronia melanocarpa
1 Leaves dull adaxially, abaxially pilose (except for glabrous forms); hypanthia villous, especially proximally; pomes red. Aronia arbutifolia

"thin" is not a number.

... more about "Aronia"
1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
Richard J. Pankhurst† +
Medikus +
brown +  and gray +
compound +  and simple +
opposite +  and alternate +
7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br /> (18 cm180 mm <br />0.18 m <br />) +
elliptic +  and obovate +
2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br /> (7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br />) +
membranous +
reduced +
adnate +  and connate +
Chokeberry +
e North America +
not +  and aggregated +
Greek Aria, name for whitebeam (formerly a species of Sorbus), alluding to resemblance to chokeberry fruit +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
not +  and aggregated +
not +  and aggregated +
0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br /> (1.1 cm11 mm <br />0.011 m <br />) +
black +  and red +
pilose +  and glabrous +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (0.9 cm9 mm <br />0.009 m <br />) +
villous +  and glabrous +
campanulate +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br />) +
5-12(-20)-flowered +
crassinucellate +
deciduous +
pinnate +  and serrulate-dentate +
toothed +, unlobed +  and lobed +
inferior +  and superior +
biseriate +  and clustered +
collateral +  and basal +
1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
0 (?) +  and 4 (?) +
white +  and pale-pink +
free +  and distinct +
elliptic;orbiculate +
adnate +, free +, connate +  and distinct +
Philos. Bot. +
not arillate +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (?) +  and 0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (?) +
persistent +
free +  and distinct +
triangular +
glabrescent +, glabrous +  and appressed-pilose +
free +  and distinct +
branched +  and simple +
1 +  and 20 +
triangular +
persistent +
distinct +
basal +, lateral +, subterminal +  and terminal +
elongate +
glabrescent +  and pilose +
Adenorachis +, Pyrus sect. Adenorachis +  and Sorbus sect. Aronia +
Rosaceae tribe Gillenieae +
inconspicuous +
shrub +  and suckering +