Unexcelled red fall foliage, masses of small, plump red berries and glossy green leaves make the chokeberry 'Brilliantissima' whole-heartedly embraced by gardeners. A mounding, deciduous shrub native to the eastern United States, it typically forms a thicket by sending out underground stems (rhizomes) into nearby soil that rise and emerge to make new plants. Individual plants are narrow and upright, with a cluster of small, thin, dark brown branches that flare out into a leafy, rounded canopy. The simple, oblong-oval leaves are a nice glossy dark green with tiny teeth on the edges.
By late spring, the branches are decorated with copious numbers of small, five-petaled white flowers that are relished by honeybees. Pollinated flowers become bright red berries by fall that are eye-catching once the bright red leaves drop. The dense populations of plump, small fruit linger well into winter, since birds tend to favor other (better-flavored) fruits before visiting red chokeberry.
Plant brilliant red chokeberry in well-drained, acidic soils that are rich in organic matter for the robust growth that will lead to a robust thicket. It is quite adaptable to other soils and has drought tolerance. Full sun sites are best and lead to the boldest, retina-burning, intense red autumn foliage and best flowering and fruiting. Use brilliant red chokeberry in the mixed border, in wildlife gardens, as a stabilizing planting on a hillside, or alongside streams or lakes. Cut the berried branches for a pretty cutflower accent around Christmastime. This shrub is becoming more popular as an alternative to the pesky, invasive burning bush shrub (Euonymus alatus) that is so loved for its red fall foliage.(info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Aronia
Species - Arbutifolia Brilliantissima
Common name - Red Chokeberry Brilliant
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m
Spread - 5"-8" / 12.7cm - 20.3cm
Plant type - Small Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full sun or partial shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam
Water requirements - Average water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 87%
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Seeds have an internal dormancy that can be overcome by a moist, chilling period. This treatment is called stratification. Here are the steps to stratify the seeds:
1. Soak the seeds in water overnight
2. Place the seeds in a moist material such as milled sphagnum peat, sterile soil or vermiculite.
3. Refrigerate the seeds for 2 to 3 months at 33 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (+2 – +4C).
After the seeds are stratified, plant them no more than one-quarter inch deep in a container filled with a moist, well-drained germination medium. Cover with glass or plastic and keep the container moist, but not soggy. Seeds should germinate in 3 to 4 weeks at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit bottomheat. As soon as the seeds germinate, place them under bright lights or move them to a greenhouse or cold frame.
Another method is to plant seeds outdoors in well prepared beds in October or before the winter. If it does not rain, then water the seedbeds before the ground freezes. The seeds will naturally receive cold treatment during the winter. The seeds should start to germinate when the seedbed warms up in the spring.
When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring.