Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking'
A fruit for the future! Aronia offers a beautiful spring display of blossoms, attractive dark green summer foliage and very nutritious berries which ripen in late summer.
The blueberry-sized black fruits of Aronia melanocarpa have the highest known levels of antioxidants (anthocyanins and flavonoids) of any temperate fruit, five times higher than cranberry and blueberry, and also contain strong anticancer compounds. Aronia has been widely grown in Eastern Europe and Russia where the fruits are processed and used in beverages, wine, jelly, and baked goods. Aronia are too astringent for fresh eating. To learn more about this intriguing fruit, see this article
by the University of Connecticut's Prof. Mark Brand.
We graft our aronia onto mountain ash trees (Sorbus aucuparia) to grow this usually unruly shrub into a more civilized tree form. Grafted at about 2.5' on the rootstock, these trees should eventually reach about 8-12' at maturity.
The cultivars 'Viking' and 'Nero' were both imported into the US from eastern Europe, where they are widely cultivated. Both of these cultivars originated in Russia in the late 19th or early 20th century, from the breeding work of the great plant breeder Ivan Michurin
. Current research led by Professor Mark Brand of UCONN suggest that these two cultivars are in fact hybrids between our native aronia and the European mountain ash (Sorbus
). This accounts for the larger fruit size of these two cultivars.
Similar in all regards to 'Nero,' except slightly taller growing.
Site requirements: Aronia berries grow best in a full sun location with fertile soil. They are quite adaptable and will grow in poor, drier sites as well.
Size at maturity: 8-12'.
Pests and diseases: No insects or diseases are of concern in the Northeast. Birds will eat the berries only in the winter when the frost has lessened their astringency.
Hardiness: Will grow in USDA zones 4-9.
Plant size: 5 gal. well rooted plant, about 3' tall with a well developed root system. Will likely produce fruit the second season in the ground if given good care. Organically grown by Cricket Hill Garden in accordance to CT NOFA Farmer's Pledge.
When we ship: Our next shipping period is SPRING 2019. Order and reserve early.