Native to southern Canada and the eastern U.S., these are tough, undemanding shrubs useful as fillers or background plantings. They tolerate a wide variety of soils. All tend to spread by suckering but are somewhat leggy (good for planting beneath). Small white or pinkish flowers appear in late spring and are followed by showy fruit that lasts well into winter. Fall foliage is brightly colored.
A. arbutifolia. RED CHOKEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Clumping shrub to 68 ft. tall and about half as wide, with many erect stems bearing shiny foliage that is rich green above, paler beneath. Fruit is clustered, 14 in. wide, brilliant red, long lasting. Fall foliage is also bright red, and plants tend to color early. 'Brilliantissima' is a selection with exceptionally fine fall color.
A. melanocarpa. BLACK CHOKEBERRY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Lower growing than A.arbutifolia, to just 35 ft. tall, rarely taller; spreads to about 10 ft. Foliage turns purple-red in fall. Shiny black, 12-in. fruit. 'Autumn Magic' has fragrant flowers, reliable fall color, and large, long-lasting fruits.