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The Enigmatic Chokeberries (Aronia, Rosaceae)

James W. Hardin
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 100, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1973), pp. 178-184
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2484630
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2484630
Page Count: 7
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The Enigmatic Chokeberries (Aronia, Rosaceae)
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Abstract

The chokeberries are native eastern North American shrubs. Two species (A. arbutifolia and melanocarpa) are fairly distinct. A third entity is intermediate and has variously been considered a species (A. prunifolia), a variety of each of the other two, or a hybrid. Analysis of the morphology, anatomy, chromatography, and pollination of these species and the probability of facultative agamospermy indicate a hybrid origin for the intermediate form. Apomixis appears to be an effective stabilizer of hybridity and enables the hybrid forms not only to perpetuate the genotype but also to expand in distribution beyond the zone of sympatry of the original sexual species. Only the two parental species are recognized formally, and Aronia is kept distinct from Pyrus and Sorbus.

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