Origin of the Aronia

Herkunft der Aronia

The aronia berry originates from the eastern part of North America, where the plant still thrives across extensive sections of various ecogeographical regions. 15 species of this genus are currently known.

The plant doesn’t require specific soil conditions; it grows on dry, rocky mountain slopes, in mountains, along steep riverbanks, in swamps, and even along dunes.

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Late 17th and early 18th century

The aronia was cultivated in the United States and Canada. Highly productive varieties emerged.

1834

Russia’s aronia culture was first cultivated in its botanical garden before spreading to the Altai region of Siberia and the European part of the country. It was cultivated across vast areas in these regions from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean.

Early 20th century

The chokeberry was first grown for its fruit in the former USSR. In the early 20th century, Russian plant breeder Ivan Michurin crossed the chokeberry with the Sorbus (rowan) and Mespilus (medlar) genera. In 1935, his follower Mikhail Lisavenko set up an aronia testing facility in Gorno-Altaisk in the Altai Republic.

1964

As the wild fruit had been received so well, the chokeberry was first recognised as a fruit in the former USSR in 1946, and its cultivation was recommended in the Altai Republic. In the years that followed, it quickly became grown on a larger scale. In 1948 alone, 20,000 units were planted at various testing facilities in modern-day St. Petersburg (then Leningrad).

1971

The chokeberry was already being grown in Russia over a total area of 5,400 hectares of non-chernozemic soils. It also started to be cultivated in Moldova, Belarus and the Ukraine around this time.

1975

The plant was added to the USSR’s list of varieties. In Russia, it’s still regarded as an excellent popular remedy that improves cell protection and reduces inflammation.

1980s

In the early 1980s, various farms in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Scandinavia started to experiment with the cultivation of this wild fruit.

1976

The aronia started to be grown in the former GDR in 1976. The first plantation was set up at “LPG Berglandobst” near Bautzen. This aronia plantation is now part of the “Obsthof Stolle” fruit farm.

1990s

The town of Coswig is home to the largest aronia plantation in Saxony. This is run by the fruit growers at Görnitz & Sohn. Aronia has been cultivated across a total of 40 hectares here since the 1990s.

Present day

The largest organic aronia plantation in Western Europe is currently being developed in Brandenburg. Around 130,000 aronia plants will be cultivated across 50 hectares here. This plantation is a collaborative project led by the farmer Heinz Peter Frehn from BioHof Schöneiche GbR.

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