The aronia berry bush (Aronia melancarpa/Aronia melanocarpa) is native to the United States and other parts of the Americas, but is often grown in Eastern Europe, where it has long been used as a food and cardiovascular medicament. (It has been commented that the best aronia berries are grown in Eastern Europe.) Aronia berry bushes are fast-growing deciduous shrubs that can reach heights and widths of six feet. They are often considered to be exceptionally beautiful, easy to grow, and productive of fruit; these qualities have led some to express the hope/conviction that aronia berry bushes will become staples of American backyards.
The shrub itself produces green foliage; in fall, this foliage turns red. In May, the bush typically produces masses of small white flowers. Aronia berry bushes are hardy plants and can tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions. Specifically, they grow in: moist or dry environments; soil displaying a range of pH values from acid to mildly alkaline; and full sun or half shade. They are also able to effectively resist insects, disease, and cold. Aronia berry bushes tend to do well when transplanted, and shrubs can be successfully planted and grown at any time in the year.
The major contraindication for aronia berry bushes is excessive heat. Aronia berry bushes tend to do best in moist soil and full sunlight. Aronia berries may be colored red, purple or black (and are, in fact, also known as “black chokeberries”) and may last on aronia branches well into winter.