The aronia berry plant is a deciduous bush with three cultivars, categorized under the family Rosaceae. Commonly referred to as chokeberries, this indigenous plant of North America is adapted to moist swamp habitats. The cultivars are named based on the berry color at the ripened stage. Commonly grown varieties include the red chokeberry, the purple chokeberry, and the black chokeberry. Out of this, the red variety is more palatable than others. Aronia berries are also used as a source of dark-colored dye. Here, we shall take a look at aronia berry plants and the benefits of ripened aronia berries.

Aronia Plant Description

At present, aronia berry plants are commonly cultivated in almost all regions of the world, specifically for their ornamental value and antioxidant-rich berries. They are quite hardy in terms of water availability, sunlight exposure, and disease resistance. To be more precise, you can grow these beautiful shrubs and bushes with little care and effort. In their natural habitat, they are found growing under trees. Thus, even if you do not have enough space in the garden, plant aronia berry bushes under larger trees.

Apart from the pendulous fruits borne in clusters, the fall leaf color and summer blossoms add a unique view to the garden. However, the exact flowering time may be different according to the growing conditions. With the increased interest in planting aronia amongst gardening enthusiasts, most nurseries keep varieties of aronia platelets. Also, several new cultivars are being developed for growing in gardens. While some are best prized for their aesthetic value, others are selected for bearing large fruits.

If you are planning to grow this landscaping shrub, choose cultivars that suit the climatic conditions in your area. Even though aronia berry plants grow well in any type of growing condition (sandy, loamy, drought, etc.), select a site that receives partial or indirect sunlight. Placing them in very dark corners will increase the risk of powdery mildew and other fungal infestations. Provide the minimal growth requirements and your aronia plants will bear large berries in late summer.

Aronia Berry Benefits

These berries are unpalatable in their raw form. In fact, the common name 'chokeberry' is given with reference to the highly astringent, bitter-tasting, inedible raw fruits. When ripened, these berries are used for making jams, jellies, juice, syrups, wines, and tinctures. The antioxidant property of aronia berries comes from anthocyanins pigments, which are present in high amounts. There is no other berry that can match the antioxidant value of aronia berries.

The black aronia variety contains the highest percentage of antioxidants. Considering this, rigorous studies have been done on the black and purple chokeberry varieties. Some of the health benefits provided by aronia berries are stabilizing blood sugar levels, protecting liver cells, reducing inflammatory responses, and minimizing risk of cardiovascular diseases. Research is ongoing to examine the anti-tumor effects of aronia berries. If it turns out positive, then aronia berries will be a great supplement for cancer patients.

You can use freshly harvested berries to make refreshing juices and drinks. The taste of aronia berry juice is something unique; you will find it sweet and tart (similar to that of cranberry juice). In general, aronia berry extract and juice are used for therapeutic purposes.