Sorbus aucuparia - L.
Common Name Mountain Ash, European mountain ash
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 3-6
Known Hazards Large quantities of the raw fruit can cause vomiting, especially if people are not used to the fruit. Seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. this is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Woods, scrub and mountain rocks, mainly on lighter soil, rare or absent on clays or soft limestones. It is found at higher elevations than any other native tree[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east from Iceland to Spain, Macedonia and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Upright or erect.

Sorbus aucuparia Mountain Ash, European mountain ash
Sorbus aucuparia Mountain Ash, European mountain ash[email protected]
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Sorbus aucuparia is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Pyrus aucuparia

Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Oil;  Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3, 5, 7, 9]. The fruit is very acid and large quantities of the raw fruit can cause stomach upsets[10, 13]. It can be used to make delicious, if slightly acidulous, jams and preserves[7], the fruit can also be dried and used as a flour mixed with cereals[2, 66]. The fruit is about 7.5mm in diameter[200] and is produced in quite large bunches making harvest easy[K]. The leaves and flowers are used as a tea substitute[61, 183]. Young leaves are said to be a famine food but they contain a cyanogenic glycoside so you should be very hungry before even thinking of eating them[179]. A coffee substitute[183]. The report was referring to the fruit, it probably means the roasted seed.
Medicinal Uses

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Antirheumatic;  Antiscorbutic;  Aperient;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Hypoglycaemic;  Laxative;  Vitamin C.

The bark is astringent, it is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and as a vaginal injection for leucorrhoea etc[4]. The fruit is antiscorbutic and astringent[4, 7]. It is normally used as a jam or an infusion to treat diarrhoea and haemorrhoids[254]. An infusion can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and as a wash to treat haemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge[254]. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which, in reaction with water, produce the extremely toxic prussic acid[254]. In small quantities this acts as a stimulant to the respiratory system but in larger doses can cause respiratory failure and death[K]. It is therefore best to remove the seeds when using the fruit medicinally or as a food[254]. Both the flowers and the fruit are aperient, mildly diuretic, laxative and emmenagogue[9, 13, 21]. An infusion is used in the treatment of painful menstruation, constipation and kidney disorders[9].


Other Uses
Cosmetic;  Dye;  Oil;  Shelterbelt;  Tannin;  Wood.

An oil is obtained from the seed[13]. A cosmetic face-mask is made from the fruits and is used to combat wrinkled skin[7]. A black dye is obtained from the young branches[74]. All parts of the plant contain tannin and can be used as a black dye[4]. Trees are very wind resistant and can be used in shelterbelt plantings[11, 200]. Wood - hard, fine grained, compact and elastic. It is highly recommended by wood turners and is also used to make hoops for barrels, cogs and furniture[7, 13, 61, 74, 113].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade[186], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. Prefers a cool moist position and a lighter neutral to slightly acid soil[11, 13, 200]. Dislikes shallow soils or drought[11, 200]. Succeeds on chalk or acid peats[98, 186]. A very wind firm tree tolerating very exposed and maritime positions[186, 200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200]. Some named varieties have been developed for their improved fruits which are larger and sweeter than the type[183]. Plants, and especially young seedlings, are quite fast growing[186]. The fruit is very attractive to birds. 28 species of insects are associated with this tree[186]. Responds well to coppicing[186]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188]. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78, 80]. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed[78, 80]. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification[98], so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two[11], but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Amelasorbus jackiiJack's amelasorbus20
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Sorbus americanaAmerican Mountain Ash12
Sorbus ariaWhitebeam, Chess-apple31
Sorbus austriaca 20
Sorbus commixta 10
Sorbus decoraShowy Mountain Ash11
Sorbus devoniensisDevon Whitebeam30
Sorbus domesticaService Tree50
Sorbus gracilis 10
Sorbus hybridaSwedish Service Tree, Oakleaf mountain ash10
Sorbus intermediaSwedish Whitebeam20
Sorbus japonica 10
Sorbus lanata 30
Sorbus latifoliaFrench Hales40
Sorbus mougeotii 40
Sorbus pohuashanensis 10
Sorbus sambucifoliaSiberian mountain ash20
Sorbus scopulinaWestern Mountain Ash, Greene's mountain ash, Cascade mountain ash21
Sorbus sitchensisSitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash11
Sorbus species 20
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeam30
Sorbus torminalisWild Service Tree, Checkertree40
Sorbus vestita 10


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Readers comment
Harald   Fri Feb 4 11:29:56 2000
Do you know the east German cultivars of Sorbus aucuparia moravica: 'Concentra' and 'Rosina'? They were widly used in this country as substitutes for raisins ( Rosina) and orange juice ( Concentra). There is also a cultivar of Chaenomeles japonica 'Cido', also called litauvian lemmon. Its of higher vitamin C content than the species.
   Mon Mar 21 20:43:17 2005

Link: horticlick

   Fri Aug 20 17:28:36 2004
looking for Rowan leaves need a few for a project do you have any idea where i might find them i live in the united states and if you can help please contact me @ [email protected]
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Subject : Sorbus aucuparia  

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