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Photinia pyrifolia (Lam.) K.R. Robertson & Phipps
Red chokeberry, Red chokecherry
Synonym(s): Aronia arbutifolia, Aronia arbutifolia var. brilliantissima, Aronia arbutifolia var. glabra, Pyrus arbutifolia, Pyrus arbutifolia var. glabra, Sorbus arbutifolia
USDA Symbol: PHPY4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Red chokecherry is a multi-stemmed shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with four-season interest. In spring, flat-topped clusters of white, five-petaled flowers with red anthers are borne in profusion. They give way to dark green, glossy leaves that consistently turn a rich, orange-red in fall. Also appearing in fall are the bright red, pear-shaped, berries. These remain until December or January and along with the reddish-brown, exfoliating bark add color to the winter landscape.
A native shrub, this species forms sizable colonies and is excellent for naturalistic landscaping. A closely related, black-fruited species, Black Chokeberry (P. melanocarpa), has leaves that are hairless beneath; it is found from Ontario east to Newfoundland and south to Georgia and Arkansas. Growing in much the same range, Purple Chokeberry (P. floribunda), which appears to be derived by hybridization of Red and Black Chokeberry, has purple fruit. Although chokeberry fruits persist through much of the winter, they appear to be of little importance to wildlife; they are occasionally eaten by game birds and songbirds and reportedly by bears. Chokeberry species are sometimes placed in the genus Aronia.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May
, WV Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
N.S. to FL
& extreme e. TX Native Habitat:
Pine bottomlands; swamps; open bogs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Intermediate food source for birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings root without hormone treatment. Seed Collection:
Collect and remove from red-ripe fruit
in mid-autumn. An alternative is to let the fruits dry with seeds inside. Seed Treatment:
90 days of cold-moist stratification will break seed dormancy. Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
October 21, 2009
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-09-24
Research By: TWC Staff