Aronia thrives through summer heat

From Tulsa World (US)


I DOUBT that many of us will be buying and planting shrubs over the weekend. Our more immediate task, thanks to record-breaking summer heat, may be disposing of the drought-stricken dead shrubs dotting our landscapes.

Eventually, however, when this plant-killing summer is but a lingering bad memory, many of us will be in the market for quality shrubs able to withstand future droughts. And when cooler air and gentle rains do return, here's a shrub worth remembering: aronia. 

Following the worst winter and summer on record, Black Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) is thriving in the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Woodward Park. 

In early spring, it loads its delicate gray branches with masses of tiny white flowers. Individual flowers are small, but their combined effect is eye-catching and special. 

By late summer, the tiny flowers develop into glossy, jet black berries, each about the size of a blueberry. Branch tips gently arch under the weight of so many berries. 

The "wow" effect isn't over yet, however. Black Aronia saves the best for last. By late fall, the once glossy green foliage turns scarlet red and lasts for weeks. 

Perhaps you're thinking, "If Black Aronia is that good, why isn't it as common as Crape Myrtle in local gardens?"


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