Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit!
Aronia’s extremely high antioxidant levels make it one of the eight “true” superfruits in the world, and it’s the only one of the eight that is native to the United States. USDA research shows Aronia berries has one of the highest antioxidant content of any fruits. The sour berries can be eaten raw off the bush, but are more frequently processed. They can be found in wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, chili starters, extracts, beer and ice cream. Remove seeds and skin when used in foods to take out the bitterness.
Aronia melanocarpa is a perennial, deciduous shrub, native to the eastern half of the United States. Its native range extends north into Canada and south into Georgia. Aronia is cold hardy to at least USDA Zone 3. The cold tolerant blooms open in late spring, avoiding most spring frosts. The plants grow well on various soil types from boggy soils that are poorly drained to well-drained sites. It can grow six feet high and wide. It grows rapidly and becomes an impressive large shrub within a year’s time. It has dark green foliage. Aronia berry leaves produce spectacular color in the fall, and the plants are highly pest and disease resistant. In May, it becomes covered with little white flowers that turn into little glossy deep purple, almost black berries. Due to its aesthetic beauty, the bush is popular as an ornamental shrub.