Photinia floribunda (Purple Chokeberry)
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Photinia floribunda (Purple Chokeberry)

Purple Chokeberry, Red Chokeberry, Aronia arbutifolia var. atropurpurea, Aronia atropurpurea, Aronia floribunda, Aronia x prunifolia, Pyrus arbutifolia var. atropurpurea, Pyrus floribunda, Sorbus arbutifolia var. atropurpurea


Noted for its long season of interest, Photinia floribunda (Purple Chokeberry) is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that adds beauty to the garden. In spring, a profusion of white to light pink flower clusters appear along the branches. Rich in nectar, they are of great interest to early butterflies and pollinators. The bright green foliage of obovate leaves, 3-4 in. long (7-10 cm), with paler and moderately pubescent undersides, turns brilliant red in the fall. The flowers are followed in late summer by abundant clusters of purple berries that persist throughout fall and well into winter. Edible, the tart berries can be used to make jams or jellies. They are also a food source for birds and other wildlife. Easy to grow, Purple Chokeberry is a natural hybrid between Aronia melanocarpa and Aronia arbutifolia. It originated in North America and is now grown widely as an ornamental in other parts of the world. Purple Chokeberry can spread vegetatively as well as by seed. It is useful for erosion control or as a windbreak or hedge. It is an excellent choice for massing in low, wet areas in the landscape too.

  • Slowly grows with an erect and bushy habit, up to 8-12 ft. tall (240-360 cm) and 6-9 ft. wide (180-270 cm). Remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in any moist but well-drained soils (except chalk). Best fruit production generally occurs in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils. 
  • Good shrub for cottage gardens, woodland gardens, naturalized areas where its suckering, colonial growth habit does not need to be restrained. Perfect for hedges or along ponds or streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots.
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer, propagate by suckers when plants are dormant and pot up.
  • Native to eastern USA and Canada.
  • Photinia floribunda is reported as an invasive species in the Netherlands and Latvia. It is listed as an agricultural weed in Canada, as a ‘garden thug’ in the UK and as a threat to grasslands in Australia. It is a black-listed species for Norway.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 7
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Aronia - Chokeberries
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spread 6' – 9' (180cm – 270cm)
Spacing 72" – 108" (180cm – 270cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Maja Dumat, Flickr, Thijmen Piek, SariMe, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 7
Heat Zones 5 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Aronia - Chokeberries
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spread 6' – 9' (180cm – 270cm)
Spacing 72" – 108" (180cm – 270cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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