Aronia (Black chokeberry)
Aronia melanocarpa, 2-3 ft at sale, native to VT, sourced from Michigan.
This hardy, adaptive shrub produces showy white flowers in spring and black berries that attract birds in the fall. It is also rapidly gaining momentum as a new small fruit crop. The blueberry-sized black fruits have the highest known levels of antioxidants of any temperate fruit, five times higher than cranberry and blueberry. While edible as a fresh fruit, Aronia berries are much tastier when the fruits have been processed. Aronia has been widely grown in Eastern Europe and Russia where it is used in beverages, wine, jelly, and baked goods. Aronia melanocarpa, one of two Aronia species native to Vermont, attains a mature height of 4 to 8 feet and forms dense plants and colonies. Plants grow successfully in partial shade or full sun, but better flowering, fruiting, and fall color occur in full sun situations.