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Wild “Apples” of the Forest

If you see a small tree with with white blossoms that looks similar to a wild rose flowers, you may have found a species of chokeberry. Its five petaled bloom with pink stamens attract bees responsible for pollination. These small trees are four to eight feet tall and are members of the rose family. These dot the May woodlands in semi-dry and wet habitats.

There are two prominent species in the eastern U.S. One is red chokeberry with red fruit and the other is black chokeberry with purplish-black fruit. The berries on both these plants resemble small apples. As you can imagine, these fruits are treasured by birds.

There are other subtle differences that I will not bore you with here, but if you are able to recognize it as a chokeberry, then a good identification book will help you decide which species you have found.


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