Summer 2024You can now pre-order for next season. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
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Olympic Flame

Sorbus ulleungensis
Olympic Flame has received the RHS Award of Garden Merit

Olympic Flame is one of the best small rowans. The highly-feathered leaves start out as a copper green colour, becoming green over the summer, and then an intense orange / red in the autumn.

The small flowers are white, borne in large inflorescences in late spring, and develop into bright red fruitlets.

Unlike most rowans, the fruits do not stay on the tree (persist) into winter, although they are attractive to birds.

Olympic Flame rowan trees for sale

  • 11-year bare-root tree £44.50
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
  • 22-year pot-grown tree £66.50
    In a 7L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
  • 32-year pot-grown tree £71.95
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
You can now pre-order for next season.

How to grow

Olympic Flame grows with a naturally upright and (particularly as a young tree) does not have many side shoots. It is a good choice if space is limited.

History

In 2014 Sorbus 'Olympic Flame' was re-classified in the species Sorbus ulleungensis. It was previously listed in the long-established rowan species Sorbus commixta which is native to Japan, Korea, and Sakhalin. The change resulted from research into the wild populations of Sorbus species on Ulleung Island, off the coast of Korea, which identified the new species based on its larger flowers and larger fruits.

Olympic Flame characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • AwardsRHS AGM (current) - 2012
  • Attractive featuresAttractive fruitAutumn foliage colour
  • Growth habitUpright
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • PruningLight prune
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsCoastal siteOccasional flooding
  • WildlifeAttractive to birds
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Flowering monthMay
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnOrange / Red
  • Fruit colourOrange / Red
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Country of originSouth Korea
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • See also Autumn Spire
    Sorbus aucuparia
    Autumn Spire
    Autumn Spire (Flanrock) is a columnar rowan with yellow fruitlets and excellent autumn colour.
  • See also Red Bird
    Sorbus alnifolia
    Red Bird
    Another notably compact and upright Sorbus tree, with pink / red fruits.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Approximate girth: 6/8cm. We try to keep all pot-grown trees down to about 1.5m as supplied, but some may be larger. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years. We may also have 1-year bare-root trees of this variety - they are not shown here.

Sorbus Dodong Olympic Flame

How to choose a Rowan or Whitebeam tree

We list more than 50 Sorbus (rowan and whitebeam) trees. Choosing can be difficult! Our article explaining the different berry and leaf colours might help narrow down the selection.