Aronia Berry

 

Aronia Melanocarpa

Aronia Melanocarpa is the scientific name (genus and species, respectfully) of the black chokeberry bush, which is the species of aronia that is highest in antioxidants.

In fact the level of anthocyanins in aronia melanocarpa has tested among the very top 3 fruits in the entire world. (!) Naturally this means they have massive health benefits, but it also means they make a great ink or dye when condensed.

Sadly, until recently, that all we've really been using them for, since we didn't understand the importance of antioxidants on our health as we do today. The fact that chokeberries must be sweetened first before eating didn't do much to help the situation, too.

Black chokeberries are native to North America, but they can grow in any temperate to cool zones around the world. In fact, they are very popular today in Russia and Eastern Europe, where they are called “Aronija.”

Despite having aronia melanocarpa first over here on our side of the pond, eaten every fall by natives for over a thousand years, a quick search online will show you that many people in eastern Europe truly treasure the aronia berry, as they have made many products based on it and in fact have many orchards dedicated to the production of black chokeberries.

Besides melanocarpa, there are two other Aronia species:

Aronia Arbutifolia (Red Chokeberries)  
Aronia X Prunifolia (Purple Chokeberries)

You can click on their names above to learn more about those types of aronia, which are lower in antioxidants than melanocarpa is, but have other benefits to offer.