Low Scape® Mound Black ChokeberryAronia melanocarpa 'UCONNAM165' (PP# 28,789)
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Aronia melanocarpa 'UCONNAM165' (PP# 28,789)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Low Scape Mound® Aronia is one of the best groundcover shrubs available. It grows vigorously into a low mound, 2 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet wide, with attractive glossy foliage. In spring it is covered in clouds of white blossoms, which become black berries by fall. The leaves turn brilliant oranges and red in fall, making a powerful display. Grow it in the foreground of your beds, in any type of garden, and this native plant is ideal for both natural gardening and woodlands, as well as in more formal beds around your home.
Full sun and dry, or partial shade and wet, the Low Scape Mound® Aronia is happy in a wide range of conditions. It takes the winters in zone 3 and the summers in zone 9 just as well, and it needs nothing much from you to thrive and quickly fill your beds. Pests or diseases are normally not a problem, and it needs no trimming or attention to stay low, dense and neat.
There is a strong trend in gardening towards using low-growing shrubs in the foreground of garden beds, for groundcover, rather than the more traditional trailing, flowering plants. Shrubs are not going to grow out into the lawns, like periwinkle can, or need a lot of trimming after winter damage, and they will bring flowers, fruit and foliage color to your beds. There is another trend to use native plants, rather than potentially invasive exotics The Low Scape Mound® Aronia brings both those trends together, in a great low-growing shrub that is not only tough, but beautiful. Filling the front of your beds with low plants hides the soil and makes your planting look lush and so much fuller. Forget those boring, sterile layers of old bark, and instead use easy-care, adaptable native plants to really bring your garden alive.
The Low Scape Mound Aronia is a spreading deciduous shrub, reaching about 2 feet tall, and spreading between 3 and 4 feet wide. It forms a dense, broad mound of branches, covering the ground well. The many branches spread outwards at 45 degrees, rather than upwards, and the smooth, slightly glossy bark is an attractive orange-brown color, turning more grey on older stems. The elliptical leaves are about 1½ inches long, with smooth edges and a rounded tip. The upper surface is smooth, glossy and rich green, while underneath the leaf is soft and slightly downy. In fall the leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and red, making a great statement in your beds, and adding lots of color.
In spring, after the new leaves have expanded, this plant puts on a big show of blooms. The end of every branch becomes a rounded cluster of small, five-petaled white flowers, like tiny apple blossoms, making it look as if fluffy clouds have drifted onto your beds. These last about 2 weeks, and then they are replaced by small green berries that ripen in fall to clusters of rich black berries, which become more noticeable when the leaves color. These berries are attractive to birds, and a valuable fall food for your local feathered friends. They are not poisonous, but very astringent, so they are not edible raw. They can however be turned into jams and jellies.
This special form of a native American plant is a must for every natural garden, but it offers us so much more than that. Its glossy leaves always look attractive, and the bonuses of flowers, berries and fall color add interest that other ‘same all year’ groundcovers can’t offer. Grow it all along the front of your beds in drifts, to make an attractive transition from larger shrubs to lawns, paths or patios. Space plants about 2 feet apart, or a little more, to create a continuous carpet of branches. It looks just as attractive in neat, formal plantings as it does in natural settings, so use it everywhere to bring life and changing colors to your planting arrangements.
The Low Scape Mound Aronia is a very tough and hardy plant. It is equally at home in the cold winters of zone 3 as it is in the hot summers of zone 9 – so use it wherever you live.
A very adaptable plant, the Low Scape Mound Aronia grows happily in full sun and dry soil, once established. It grows just as happily in partial shade, with just a few hours of direct sun each day, and in damp soil. It grows in any garden soil, of all types, from drier sands to wet, boggy areas. Don’t worry, this plant will be happy with you, no matter what you have to offer.
The Low Scape Mound Aronia is a low-maintenance plant, and rarely has any problems with pests or diseases. A little compost scattered over the roots in spring or fall is helpful for good growth. Pruning is not normally needed, but branches can be trimmed after flowering to maintain an extra-neat low profile, if you wish.
The black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa, is a native shrub growing wild from Newfoundland across to Minnesota and south all the way to Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia. It is usually found in bogs and woodlands, but also on open, drier areas, which is why it is so adaptable to different garden conditions.
Dr. Mark Henry Brand is a plant breeder with the University of Connecticut at their main Storrs campus. He wanted to develop this attractive native plant for more effective garden use, so he began breeding them to develop low-growing forms. In 2006 he crossed two varieties he had created earlier (‘UC012’ and ‘UC017’) and in 2011 he selected the best plant from among his many seedlings. After extensive trials it was named ‘UCONNAM165` and patented in 2017 for the benefit of the university. The plant has been released as a Proven Winners® variety by Spring Meadow Nursery of Grand Haven, Michigan, with the trademarked name of Low Scape Mound®.
We really think that shrubs as groundcover is the way to go, and this plant is a real winner and an all-round reliable plant for that. It has received rave reviews from gardeners for its toughness and versatility. We know you will love it too, but order now, because they will soon all be gone.