Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Photinia arbutifolia (L.)
ROSACEAE (Rose Family)
EtymologyPhotinia derives from "photos," the Greek word for light, in reference to the shining leaves; arbutifolia is Latin for having leaves like the Arbutus (Strawberry Tree).
DescriptionThe chokeberries are deciduous, broad-leaved colonial shrubs that grow 2-10 feet tall. They are difficult to tell apart even with careful observation and a good hand lens -- until autumn when red chokeberry can be distinguished by its bright red berries and foliage. Red chokeberry occurs throughout southern New England but is only found in a couple of counties in northern New England.
Wetland indicator statusFACW
Plant Height2-10 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple, finely-toothed margins, 1 3/16 -- 2 3/4" long; elliptical to oblong/lance-shaped to egg-shaped, pointed at tip; wedge-shaped to rounded base, black glands on midvein of upper leaf surface; lower leaf surface, branchlets, leaf stalks and flower stalks are grayish-woolly; bright red in autumn.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite or pinkish, about 1/2" wide, 5 petals; in terminal clusters with woolly stalks.
Flowering PeriodApril-July
FruitSmall (1/4") berry-like pome, bright red, 5-parted; on woolly stalks.
Fruiting PeriodSeptember-November, persisting into winter.
HabitatBogs, swamps, and wet woods; less often in dunes and dry soils.
RangeNewfoundland to Florida and Texas; more common near and on coastal plain, also in mountains to West Virginia and Kentucky.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett