Aronia, the chokeberries, are deciduous shrubs in the family Rosaceae, native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps. The genus is usually considered to contain two or three species, one of which is naturalized in Europe. A fourth form that has long been cultivated under the name Aronia is now considered to be an intergeneric hybrid, Sorbaronia mitschurinii.
Chokeberries are cultivated as ornamental plants and as food products. The berries can be eaten raw off the bush but are more frequently processed. Chokeberries can be found in wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, chili starters, extracts, beer, ice cream, gummies and tinctures. The name "chokeberry" comes from the astringency of the fruits, which create a sensation making your mouth pucker.
The chokeberries are often mistakenly called chokecherries, which is the common name for Prunus virginiana. Further adding to the ambiguity, there is a variety of Prunus virginiana named melanocarpa. This is easily confused with Aronia melanocarpa, commonly referred to as "black chokeberry" or "aronia berry." Aronia berries and chokecherries are both high in polyphenolic pigment compounds, like anthocyanins, further contributing to confusion. In fact, the two plants are only distantly related within the Rosaceae family.