RED CHOKEBERRY DOGBERRY TREE





(Aronia arbutifolia; Pyrus arbutifolia of Gray) Apple family



Flowers - White or magenta tinged, 1/2 in. across or less, in

terminal, compound cymes, finally overtopped by young sterile

shoots. Calyx 5-lobed, hairy; 5 concave, spreading petals;

stamens numerous; 3 to 5 styles united at base; ovary woolly.

Stem: Shrubby, branching, usually low, rarely 12 ft. high.

Leaves: Alternate, petioled, oval to oblong, finely cut-edged,

smooth above, matted with woolly hairs underneath. Fruit: Small,

round or top-shaped, bright red berries.

Preferred Habitat - Swamps, low ground, wet thickets.

Flowering Season - March-May.

Distribution - Nova Scotia to Gulf of Mexico, westward to the

Mississippi.



Another common species often found in the same haunts, the BLACK

CHOKE-BERRY (A. nigra), with similar flowers, the berries very

dark purple, was formerly confounded with the red choke-berry.

But because it sometimes elects to live in dry ground its leaves

require no woolly mat on the underside to absorb vapors arising

from wet retreats. No wonder that the insipid little berries.

related to apples, pears, and other luscious fruits, should share

with a cousin, the mountain ash, or rowan, the reproachful name

of dogberry.





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