red chokeberry

Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry) is a particularly bird-friendly shrub that is showy all year round.

In spring, sweetly scented white blooms with red stamens attract pollinators. In fall the dark, green elliptic leaves turn a powerful red. A very colorful finish to a growing season with this beautiful shrub.

In winter, crimson fruit dangles from the ends of long pedicels along the branches of this medium to large shrub. The birds avoid eating this bitter fruit until it ferments over the winter and becomes sweet, attracting the spring migratory birds. In this way it provides beauty to people all winter, but sustains our growing bird population even in spring.

Aronia arbutifolia is located in the elevated strip along the sidewalks of the Monroe and Columbus Street sides of Lurie Garden. We’ve named this planted area the “Bird Border as the plants there were chosen to be a source of refuge and food for birds year-round.

Botanical Name Aronia arbutifolia
Common Name red chokeberry
Family Rosaceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 9
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest spring, summer, fall, winter
Height and Spread 6-10ft x 3-6ft (1.8-3m x 0.9-1.8m)
Flower Color White to Light Pink
Attracts Wildlife Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators,
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Native to Eastern North America
Location in Lurie Garden Bird Border-Columbus, Bird Border-Monroe