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European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)

European mountain ash Common Names: Rowan

Description: Used as farmstead windbreaks, furniture and tools, fruits are processed into jams or jellies and as a medicinal plant.

Habit: Deciduous; reaches heights of 25-30 ft and widths of 15-25 ft; gray-barked tree with spreading branches.

Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, 5-9 in long, individual leaflets are serrated on their upper halves, 1-1.5 in long, dull dark green above and paler green below, in fall, red to yellow in color.

Stems: Light grayish brown; generally smooth; numerous lenticel when young.

Flowers: Inflorescence, large, flat-topped panicle; at least 75 flowers, calyx obconic, hairy, 5 lobes that are triangular and persistent, 5 petals are white, nearly orbicular and 4 mm long, 15-20 stamens, equaling the petals, 3-4 carpels, styles are 2-3 mm long.

Fruit and seeds: Small, orange-red fruits, 3/8 in in diameter are born in terminal clusters that ripen in fall.

Habitat: Native to Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. Prefers cool to cold climates, full sun, well drained, loamy acidic soils. Found in urban areas where air pollution, poor drainage, compacted soil and/or drought are common.

Reproduction: By seed. Viable for 5 or more years; transported by birds.

Similar species: American mountain ash (Sorbus americana); Western mountain ash (Sorbus sitchensis); Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica).

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand pull small seedlings or dig up young trees; can be effectively controlled using readily available general use herbicides.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the USDA PLANTS Database and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

European mountain ash

Scientific Name:

Sorbus aucuparia







USDA Symbol: