If the Chokeberry shrub could hire a public relations executive, the first thing that that person would do is to change the name. Perhaps use the scientific name: Photinia.
In fact, the sour berries can be eaten raw off the bush (I did so today and didn’t choke), but are more frequently processed. They can be used to make wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa, extracts, beer, ice cream and Gummies. The name “chokeberry” comes from the astringency of the fruits, which create the sensation of making one’s mouth pucker.
Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve is the only Toronto area location which I know of that has Chokeberry. The similarly named Chokecherry is much more common.
Chokeberry grows in swamps and wet woods but also on dry sandy or rocky ridges and in pine woods.
Some other plants at Todmorden Mills Wildflower preserve:
“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.” – Mark Twain (1835–1910)
Some chokecherry now grows at Corktown Common.