Looking for Aronia berries (also called Chokeberries) in 2021? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
Aronias are an edible fruit crop, high in high-antioxidants, although the fruit is too astringent to eat raw so it is usually baked, made into jams, jellies, syrup, tea, juice and wine. Aronia berries contain high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and polyphenols that reduce the potential for cancer and heart disease. Products made from chokeberries include jams, jellies, juice and Aronia wine.
The berries can survive on the bush into winter , if birds and other wildlife don't eat them first.
Aronia melanocarpa, black chokeberry, the juicy pea sized berries (botanically a pome) are black in color and contain 1 to 8 seeds. Black chokeberry is grown commercially for juice production.
Aronia arbutifolia, red chokeberry, has attractive red fruit and is grown as an ornamental. Both species are edible but the highly tart / acidic tannin content makes your mouth pucker when you eat the berries resulting in the name chokeberry.. The red variety is rarely grown commercially.
There is also a Purple chokeberry, Aronia prunifolia (Photinia floribunda) which is rarely grown commercially
There are two species of Aronia that belong to the rose family and are found in the eastern parts of North America from southern Canada to Georgia, west to Arkansas and north to Minnesota. They are slow growing, long lived suckering deciduous shrubs about 6 feet tall and wide with the general appearance of a lilac bush. They are also grown in Russia and Poland, where by 1985 over 40,000 acres of black chokeberry was grown in Russia. Poland had 10,000 acres under production in 2005. The fruit is mainly marketed as a juice or jams there. An aronia wine is made in Lithuania,
In the Spring, the bush has showy white flower clusters. In autumn, leaves change from green to vibrant tones of red, orange and purple.
Aronia's bloom in mid-May to mid-June
The berries are harvested from late August to mid-September, but as noted above, they may survive on the bushes into winter.
Aronia berries can be made into jams and jellies much like blueberries or cranberries. They are very tart, so you may find you add more sugar.
Basic recipes are shown below forl Aronia berry jam and jelly
Yield about 6 to 8 half-pint jars
Yield about 6 to 8 half-pint jars
Common Aronia / Black chokeberry varieties are:
Aronia Berry (Chokeberry) Production in Iowa
A two day event about sustainable organic commercial production and home garden culture of black chokeberry (Aronia melancarpa) was held in August 2008. For more information about future events, commercial production and marketing of aronia berries, visit Everhart Horticulture Consulting. Dr. Eldon Everhart, formerly with Iowa State University, is co-owner of Everhart Horticulture Consulting.
Chokecherry - The Chokecherry
(Prunus virginiana) is similar in its habitat
preferences to the saskatoon. The white flowers, appearing in late May to early
June, form long bottle-brush like clusters. The fruits ripen in August, and can
be yellow, orange, red or dark purple in color. The fruit is astringent, but
makes good jellies, jams and sauces. Other parts of the plant were used by
native peoples for medicinal purposes. The roots were chewed and placed on
wounds to prevent bleeding, and the bark was boiled with other ingredients to
treat diarrhea and fever. Chokebcherries can be propagated from seed, cuttings,
suckers and crown division.
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