Oct. 19, 2018

redfruit chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia

What's in a name? Sometimes a lot of confusion. Probably no plant that I know has had more taxonomic confusion than redfruit chokeberry. That confusion in an interesting way reflects reality. Another chokeberry, Aronia prunifolia, is quite similar, has much the same range, and they hybridize. If one looks back over the last half century (or more), almost every new publication will give these plants a different name. They may be combined with their blackfruit relative or they may stand alone. At various times these have been assigned to the genera Mespilus, Photinia, Pyrus, or Sorbus. Throughout it all they've held on to the common nameof chokeberries, which we understand when we taste them. Redfruit can be seen in damp sites in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, NB, NS, ON, PE, and QC. Morton Co GA, 3/15/16.