Chokeberry Photinia spp.
Family: Simaroubaceae (Quassia)
Branching: Alternate
Other names: Aronia spp.

There are a few species of Chokeberry and they are all very similar and have to do with the amount of hair on the twigs.  The three main forms are Red (P. arbutifolia; very hairy buds and twigs) Purple (P. floribunda; hairy twigs but not buds) and Black (P. melanocarpa; twigs and buds not hairy).  They have very distinctive buds that are reddish and pointed (unlike Basswood's red and "rain-drop" shaped buds).  In the summer (and in the winter when leaves can be found) they have a line of small black glands along the midrib of the leaf.  A close look with the naked eye will show them.  The buds can look similar to Serviceberry, but the bark is different (Chokeberry's isn't as light and lacks the faint vertical striping; also Serviceberry buds tend to have slight amounts of hair along the bud scales)  The pictures here are of Purple Chokeberry.

Purple Chokeberry twigs.  Notice the reddish buds.

Another view of the winter twig (that is also a Chokeberry in the background)

Grayish bark with sparse, raised lenticels.

Leaves turn very red in the autumn.  If you zoom in on the full-size picture you can faintly see the black glands
on the midrib of the leaf at the top right and a bit on the bottom right leaf (thought it's a bit out of focus)

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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