Growing Aronia Super Fruit?

butterflylion(7bGA)February 6, 2012

Does anyone grow Aronia berries? They have such high nutrition they are considered a Super Fruit.

Are the plants available locally? What about the different varieties? Care, and yields?

Here's some info from Mother Earth News:

Aronia Berries: The Local Acai Berry Alternative

Packed with antioxidants and native to North America, Aronia berries are set to replace Acai berries as Mother Nature's best superfood.

By Jennifer Kongs

September 2, 2010

With the growing craze for superfoods such as Acai Berries, Goji Berries and Spirulina, there is a new potential superfoods-list topper: Aronia berries (Aronia melanocarpa). With articles citing such claims as, âÂÂAcai is a berry that has been in the headlines, but research reveals that it takes a backseat to a berry called Aroniaâ (Iowa State University Extension) and âÂÂAronia berries contain very high levels of antioxidants higher than acai, grapes, elderberries, blueberries, and other fruits (Kansas State University Extension). An ingredient in the popular MonaVie health tonic, Aronia berries are a great food to add to your diet.

The Iowa State University Extensions reports on the health benefits of Aronia berries: âÂÂEach tiny berry of Aronia melanocarpa contains a powerhouse of antioxidants. Studies done in the U.S. and around the world indicate that the Aronia berry can benefit cardiovascular health, the digestive system, liver health, and muscle recovery after workouts.âÂÂ

More specific research into just what makes Aronia berries antioxidant powerhouses reveals that âÂÂORAC, Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is the method that is used to measure the antioxidant capabilities of biological samples such as fresh fruits and vegetables. The ORAC value recorded for Aronia is about 58 percent higher in antioxidant levels than blueberries and over 90 percent more than cranberries Proanthocyanidins have benefits that are directly related to protection against Cardiovascular disease. The concentration of PAs in the Aronia berry is among the highest reported value of any food.âÂÂWhat is especially exciting about the health benefits of the dark purple Aronia berry is how easy it can be grown in North America. Also known as chokeberries, they are a native species found from Nova Scotia all the way to Florida. ...

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Aronia (now called Photinia) is a shrub that is native throughout much of Georgia. The species Photinia pyrifolia is the more common one.

Look to native plant suppliers to find this beautiful and hardy shrub. The fall color is very nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red chokeberry

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:34PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I have dwarf aronia I purchased from Hidden Spring. If it does well here I plan to use them as low hedges, sort of an alternative to blueberries. I love blueberries but I only need so many plants!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Ahem. They're called 'chokeberry' for a reason.
Yes, they're chock-full of antioxidants, but I'm afraid you're going to be sorely disappointed if you're anticipating them to be as tasty as blueberries. Not all that great for fresh eating.
Esh is right - fall color is great, on the ones I've seen. I've eaten fruits from A.melanocarpa; not horrible, but nowhere nearly as tasty as a blueberry or serviceberry.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Lucky p, I was thinking about using them in smoothies. Girlgroupgirl, have you tried the fruit from yours? Thanks to you all for sharing your experiences. Here's an article about using Aronia with several other fruits in smoothies:

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 5:49PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Butterfly, not yet. I just planted it. I have grown it in hopes birds like it better than some fruits, and hear it makes delicious jelly and juice.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:13PM
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I've eaten generic A.melanocarpa berries right off the bush - don't recall any 'choking' sensation, but they weren't memorably tasty, either. Not a replacement for blueberries.
I'm seeing more & more mixed fruit juices out there on the market that have Aronia juice in them - not sure if its for flavoring, or just for added color and antioxidant levels. Probably would make a pretty decent jelly.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 3:01PM
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I planted 100 plants in Ohio last fall. The are becoming a cash crop in Midwest. Google sawmill hallow .. Places I found online were crazy high. I found them at a nursery for 1.50 a plant. There is a grower in Wisconsin that will ship you plants as well.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 7:34PM
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diabou(8a GA)

I had a huge Photinia bush (15 - 20' tall) next to my last house. While very attractive with glossy green leaves, red near the tips, and covered with white flowers in the spring, I would't advise planting it anywhere near your house. The scent of the flowers was bad enough to drive me back indoors. It smelled like rotten garbage to me. I didn't know that Photinia was also know as chokeberry,

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:06PM
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