Black chokeberries (Aronia melanocarpa), is deciduous shrub in the family Rosaceae, native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps. The genus is usually considered to contain two or three species, one of which is naturalized in Europe. Chokeberries are cultivated as ornamental plants and as food products. The berries can be eaten raw off the bush but are more frequently processed. Chokeberries can be found in wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, chili starters, extracts, beer, ice cream, gummies and tinctures.
The leaves are alternate, simple, with crenate margins, in autumn the leaves turn a bold red color. The flowers are small, with 5 petals and 5 sepals, and produced in corymbs of 10-25 together. The fruit is a small pome, with a very astringent flavor. Black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa, tends to be smaller, rarely exceeding 1 m tall, rarely 3 m, and spreads readily by root sprouts. The leaves are smaller, not more than 6 cm wide. The flowers are white, 1.5 cm wide, with glabrous sepals. The fruit is black, 6–9 mm wide, not persisting into winter.
The chokeberries are attractive ornamental plants for gardens. They are naturally understory and woodland edge plants, and grow well when planted under trees. Chokeberries are resistant to drought, insects, pollution, and disease. Aronia is also used as a flavoring or colorant for beverages or yogurts. Juice from the ripe berries is astringent, semi-sweet (moderate sugar content), sour and contains a low level of vitamin C. The berries have their own unique flavorand in addition to juice they can be baked into soft breads.