Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Photinia melanocarpa (Michx.) Robertson and Phipps
ROSACEAE (Rose Family)
EtymologyPhotinia derives from "photos," the Greek word for light, in reference to the shining leaves; melanocarpa means black-fruited, from the Greek: melas = black + carpa = fruit.
DescriptionThe chokeberries are difficult to tell apart even with careful observation and a good hand lens. All three are deciduous, broad-leaved colonial shrubs that grow 2-10' tall, but black chokeberry rarely gets taller than 6 feet. Black chokeberry is adapted to a wide range of upland and wetland habitats.
Wetland indicator statusFAC
Plant Height2-6 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple, finely-toothed margins, 1 3/16 -- 2 3/4" long; elliptical, ovate or lanceolate, often broadest above the middle; pointed or blunt tip; black glands on midvein of upper leaf surface; underside paler and usually smooth; hairless (or almost hairless) branchlets, leaf stalks, and flower stalks.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite or pinkish, about 1/2" wide, 5 petals; in terminal clusters with (usually) smooth stalks.
Flowering PeriodApril-July
FruitBerry-like pome, black, small (1/4"), 5-parted; on (usually) smooth stalks.
Fruiting PeriodAugust-October, sometimes persistent.
HabitatBogs, swamps, and moist woods; also dry thickets, rocky uplands, bluffs and cliffs.
RangeNewfoundland to Minnesota, south to n. Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri; in south, not usually found on coastal plain and adjacent piedmont.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett