Aronia mitschurinii - cultivated aronia


The Aronia (chokeberry) genus grows naturally in North America. This particularly species is not known to grow anywhere in the wild but has been cultivated in Russia for at least 70 years. With a genotype differing from those of the American chokeberries, it is generally thought to have been developed by the plant breeder Ivan V. Mitsurin in the early 1900s.

This is a large erect-growing shrub with tree-like branches. A mature plant in full sun can produce up to 10kg of berries, which are larger than those produced by the other chokeberries, with a bluish waxy bloom. They contain anthocyanins in amounts comparable with blueberries.

The berries are sweet, resembling mountain ash berries in aroma, and contain large amounts of pectin, sugars, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and flavonoids. They also contain tannins, which make them unsuitable for eating fresh – eaten straight from the bush they tend to produce slightly twisted facial expressions. Nevertheless, they produce excellent jams, jellies and juices.

As decoration, the bushes are excellent. The large shiny leaves turn glowing orange to red in autumn and a healthier shrub would be hard to find. It grows well even along urban roadsides but can not be recommended for planting along footpaths: the strong dyes in the berries stain everything from paving stones to careless worms.


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