last updated 20/10/2014


Commonly known as “Chokeberries”, this genus is not as widely known and used in this country as I believe that it deserves to be. It is an extremely easy and rewarding shrub, tolerant of almost any conditions though it thrives in moisture retentive soil. Imagine the flowers of the humble hedgerow Hawthorn and affix them to a medium sized shrub of tidy upright habit, growing to about 2m. The oval leaves are a rich glossy green through summer before turning outstanding shades of red to purple through the autumn. This is enhanced by the presence of great bunches of fruit, either black (in the case of A.melanocarpa) or red.

Aronia x prunifolia is now considered to be a hybrid (rather than a species), between the Red Chokeberry (A.arbutifolia) and the Black Chokeberry (A.melanocarpa).

These excellent named forms have all been selected for superior fruit production, and the birds certainly appreciate them!

ARONIA melanocarpa 'Autumn Magic'
An easily grown small shrub with glossy dark green leaves which develop some of the best autumn colours. White hawthorn like flowers in spring are followed by lustrous black berries.

ARONIA melanocarpa var. grandiflora 
As the name implies, a particularly large flowered variant.

ARONIA x prunifolia 'Aron' 
Aronia x prunifolia is now considered to be a hybrid (rather than a species), between the Red Chokeberry (A.arbutifolia) and the Black Chokeberry (A.melanocarpa). 'Aron' has been selected for prolific and large berries.

ARONIA x prunifolia 'Hugin' 
Also selected for prolific and large fruit.

ARONIA x prunifolia 'Serina
Not very helpful I know, but at present I can only say that this one also was originally selected for prolific and large fruit! These are new to us, but once my stock plants develop, I shall be able to tell you in rather more detail exactly how they differ.

ARONIA x prunifolia 'Viking' 
This European selection has glossy deep green foliage, brilliant red autumn colour but was singled out for it's prolific crop of large, reputedly edible, black berries. Expect 1-2m.

AZARA microphylla 'Variegata'
I have been amazed at how hardy this tree actually is. In a "sheltered site here, it happily survived -12 degrees last winter without dropping a leaf. To put that into perspective, the
Pittosporum next to it practically defoliated! Small leaves brightly edged with cream make it a lovely foliage plant. Vanilla scented yellow flowers are produced in early spring. 4m

BERBERIS 'Baby Bear'
This cute little dwarf is our own selection. A seedling from 'Goldilocks', the name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This one just had to be 'Baby Bear' becasue it stays so small and compact. The original plant was about 1m in all directions after 10 years, despite the stature of its parent. Happily it has also inherited its prolific golden flowers.

BERBERIS 'Goldilocks'
Excellent large and rapid evergreen shrub with lovely bright golden flowers in spring. Loved by bees, blue-black berries are freely produced in autumn. Perfect for screening. 

BERBERIS valdiviana 
A truly majestic plant which we have been trying to propagate for years. Success at last! It does eventually make a large, upright shrub, but it is worth both the wait and the space. The leaves are glossy, smooth and almost holly-like, whilst the drooping racemes of flowers in early summer are an intense yellow.

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