The Rowans or Mountain Ash trees are a group of mostly small trees growing to about 7m, characterised by their heavily segmented or "pinnate" leaves, which often take on attractive autumn colours. They are also known as Mountain Ash trees, because the leaf has a passing resemblance to the common ash - although they are not related.
They are however distantly related to crab-apples and hawthorns, and most varieties bear clusters of fruitlets which hang on the tree into early winter. The fruits are usually red, but there are also yellow and pink varieties. All forms of rowan are good sources of food for wildlife from late summer into the early winter, and in many cases the fruits can also be cooked and made into rowan jelly.
All rowans are easy to grow, and most are tolerant of a wide range of conditions, including acidic soils, clay soils, wet soils, and exposed situations. However they prefer well-drained soils if possible, and do best in full-sun. They are invariably healthy trees, although (reflecting their relation with apples) they can be susceptible to fireblight - fortunately not a common disease in the UK. The growth habit of most varieties is quite upright, making them good street trees.
A typical Mountain Ash or Rowan, with particularly persistent red berries.
The Cut-leaf Rowan, an excellent form of the native Mountain Ash, orange-red berries, and highly feathered leaves.
An unusual Rowan, with bright yellow fruitlets, and a very upright habit. Leaves turn bronze-red in the autumn.
A form of the Cut-leaf Rowan, with even more pronounced feathering of the leaves. Red berries in autumn, and bronze-purple leaves.
The Rowan or Mountain Ash, native to most parts of the UK. The leaves turn golden red in autumn, accompanied by clusters of red berries. One of the largest species of Sorbus.
Named for its attractive light copper-coloured fruitlets, Copper Kettle is easy to grow and takes up little space.
Features feathered leaves, and pink-red fruitlets.
This rowan has bluish-green leaves which turn orange-red in the autumn.The fruitlets are red, and persist well into winter.
Emiel has long leaves, with silvery-green undersides, turning orange in autumn.
Gibbsii grows with a neat spreading columnar form, sprinkled with clusters of bright red fruits in the autumn.
A small compact rowan with an upright form, notable for its bright pink fruitlets and feathered leaves.
An unusual species of Sorbus, the leaves are particularly attractive for their white undersides.
John Mitchell is a popular whitebeam, notable for its large white-green leaves.
A small rowan, with distinctive yellow fruitlets. Also one of the best for autumn colour.
An unusual rowan, with light pink blossom, and white fruitlets, which are larger than usual for rowans.
Lemon Drop is a small whitebeam tree, with the characteristic white undersides to its leaves. As the name suggests, the fruitlets are bright yellow.
A good all-round small rowan tree, with good autumn colours and cascades of pink fruitlets.
An attractive small rowan tree, its orange/red autumn leaf-colours are amongst the best.
A small rowan with a spreading habit, large feathered leaves, and bright pink berries.
A very upright rowan tree, with pretty pink fruitlets.
Spectacular pink fruit in August turning white in winter. Excellent autumn foliage. Height - Large
A small to medium tree. Upright oval shaped leaves turning yellow in autumn. Clusters of orange fruit and long blue/black winter buds.
Similar characteristics to Sorbus vilmorinii, not quite as vigorous, but heavier fruiting.
A broad spreading rowan with bright orange fruitlets and autumn foliage.
One of the more spreading smaller Rowan species, with orange/red autumn leaf colours, and clusters of small orange fruilets.
The main feature of this Rowan trees is the pink fruitlets, which turn white as autumn progresses. It is one of the smaller Sorbus species, but also one of the more spreading.
A good-sized yellow-fruiting mountain ash, with a spreading form.