Aronia the melanokarpi (Aronia melanocarpa / Black Chokeberry) belongs to the family of rosy (Rosaceae) and is a valuable medicinal species, which occurs naturally in Northeast America and South Canada, over a broad area in dry to moist areas.Aronia is a deciduous shrub 1-3 m. whose systematic cultivation in Europe andRussia, began after the Second World War, after having recognized the valuable pharmaceutical and health value of its fruits. Aronia in the international scale of medicinal plants (1-5 ) held the top positions (scale 1 )
Spread - economic importance
In Europe, Aronia is cultivated in various countries (Russia, Lithuania, Bulgaria,Sweden, Czech Republic), and over a broad area in Poland. In Lithuania, a company manufactures wine (from the fruits of Aronia) called "Aronijos" recommended for prevention of heart disease.
Aronia was imported from America to Eastern Europe before the Second World War,and was originally used as an ornamental plant. But after the war it was used as a medicinal plant from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
In 1974, 54,000 acres were planted in Eastern Europe, of which 40,000 acres in areas with cold climate (Siberia). The purpose of the plantations were juicing and pharmaceutical formulations , because the fruits of Aronia is rich in substances ( anthocyanins , phenols , catechins , flavonols , etc. ) .
The economic importance of cultivating Aronia is great because it is a low costculture (the value of bare root three-year seedlings is 2-4 euro ) , yields income in a short time ( two to three years after planting ) , the plantation lasts for a long time of period (up to 100 years) , the crop is organic (no need for lubrication , sprayings , because there are no reported diseases so far ) .
Use of Products
The fruit of Aronia is edible and palatable ( particularly after processing), and can be widely used in jams because it contains a valuable substance , pectin.
The fruit can be used in the pharmaceutical industry, because it contains vitamin C and at high levels (15-30 mg 100 g), and many other minerals and vitamins (A, B1,B2, B3 , B6, B9, C , K , P). Also, the fruit protects us from radiation.
The main product of Aronia for sale is the fruits (fresh, frozen and dried (raisins)). Moreover, the processed fruits provide processed products with high added value,such as jams, juices, syrup, liqueur or wine. In Lithuania, one company manufactures wine (from the fruits of Aronia) called "Aronijos" recommended for rejuvenation and prevention of heart disease.
Aronia is considered valuable for its medicinal qualities, due to high content of vitalpolyphenols (five times more than grapes ) . The extracts of fruit and leaf of Aroniahave useful antioxidant qualities and may be used by the pharmaceuticalindustry, because they contain substances with useful therapeutic qualities ( anthocyanins , polyphenols, vioflavonoles , tannins , histamines, serotonins , etc. ) . In pharmacies abroad there are available formulations of Aronia in capsules, drops, etc.
Generally, Aronia can be grown in almost all soil types, provided that the land must be drained because the plant is sensitive to excess water. Require only minimal pruning so only the dry branches should be trimmed so the plant grows in brighter conditions. Aronia is a biological culture since there are no diseases and thereforedoesn’t need sprayings and fertilizations (only with animal or plant residues, manure)
- Demands on climate – soil
- Preparing the ground planting distance
- Diseases- Enemies
Aronia is a hermit species, and can be grown widely in different climates (dry or wet) and soils (sandy to loamy,acidic, neutral, and alkaline). It thrives and grows quickly in moist, slightly peaty soils. Requires sunshine,but can thrive in semi-shade environments. Aroniawithstand frosts (-25 ° C), but is affected by high temperatures (heat waves > 42 ° C). In conclusion,Aronia should be watered in summer, particularly in the first three years after planting (preferably with drip irrigation)
Before planting becomes a scraping of the terrain and then holes, depth 50 cm, are drilled (when the seedlings are three years old) , depending on the distance of planting ( planting link) . Suitable planting distances, inmeters, are 3 x 3, 3 x 2, 5 or 3 x 2 m. Afterwards we do1-2 working teqniques to facilitate soil with a rotary hoeand level the ground. Then we can create mounds with dimensions that vary depending on the irrigation systemthat has been installed in the plantation, slope, soil , etc.
There is no need for chemical fertilizers, because the cultivation of Aronia is generally organic. But the production is increased by enriching the soil with organicsubstances (manure), because it improves the structure and composition of the soil.
The plant is susceptible to long drought conditions and therefore needs irrigation (preferably a drip), particularly in the first years after planting, because the irrigation of the plantation vastly improves the final yields.
The plant protection of Aronia is not a particular problem because the hard and thick skin of the leaves and the high content of the leaves and fruit in polyphenols are an important natural defense for the plant. Also in theinternational literature have not been reported diseasesby fungal or insects. The greatest danger is the wild birds because they cause damage when the fruit is ripe. To protect from the birds there are used different methods(sonic methods, nets, scarecrows, etc.).